Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
Since the death of his wife, Beata, Johannes Rosmer turns more and more to his friend, Rebecca West. Rosmer had an unhappy marriage with an unsympathetic, neurotic wife who took her own life in a millpond. Rebecca was her friend as well as the husband’s. Beata’s brother, Rector Kroll, the schoolmaster, also is Rosmer’s close friend.
Kroll calls on Rosmer to get him to join a political drive against the new liberal party that is gaining power in the village. The party is controlled by Peter Mortensgard, publisher of the Beacon, a paper Kroll considers radical and dangerous because it criticizes the conservative party, which he represents. Kroll is disappointed to learn that Rosmer no longer holds his former static views on politics and social structures but, instead, supports the liberals. Rosmer’s real concern is not with politics at all, but only with encouraging people to ennoble their souls; he feels the new party is a step toward this goal. Rebecca supports him in his belief.
While they talk, Madam Helseth, the housekeeper, announces Ulric Brendel, a self-styled genius who is going to the village to offer his services to the liberal party. Brendel is in rags and obviously without a livelihood, and to Kroll he epitomizes the liberals. To Rosmer and Rebecca, however, Brendel is a man living and working as his conscience directs, and they help him with clothing and money.
This act turns Kroll against them. He now...
(The entire section is 1095 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of Rosmersholm Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!