Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
There is no real affection between Ellida Wangel and her two stepdaughters, Boletta and Hilda. Ellida married their father, Doctor Wangel, several years before, soon after the death of his first wife. She met him in the seacoast town that was her home, which she loved because it was near the sea. In fact, the sea had always dominated her life, and she feels stifled in her new home, which is surrounded by mountains.
Arnholm, Boletta’s former tutor, pays a visit to the Wangel home. He had known and loved Ellida before her marriage to Doctor Wangel, but she had refused his suit because she was already betrothed to another. As the two old friends talk, a traveling sculptor, Lyngstrand, stops to tell them of a group he hopes to model. Lyngstrand has been at sea, where he met a sailor who told him a strange story. The sailor had married a woman who had promised to wait for him, but three years earlier he had read that his wife had married another man. The sailor told Lyngstrand that his wife was still his, that he would have her even though she had broken her vows.
This strange tale moves Ellida, seems even to frighten her. She is moody after hearing it, which makes her husband think she is unhappy because she is away from the sea. He offers to move his family to the seashore so that Ellida can regain her peace of mind, but Ellida knows that a move will not bring her happiness, whereas it certainly would make him and the girls unhappy to leave...
(The entire section is 1232 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of The Lady from the Sea Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!