Realism, symbolism, and ritualism are Ibsen's main dramatic elements in Ghosts. Discuss and elaborate.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The realism in Ibsen's Ghosts is the easiest to find, since the author is often considered to be not just a master of the genre but the father of it. Like all Ibsen's plays, it portrays people and dialogue in a much more natural way than previous generations and ages. Before realism, literature was largely bound by the same shackles of propriety and manners that the characters in Ghosts struggle with. Ibsen was quite controversial in his time for his inclusion of topics like diseases, cheating, family secrets, and so on. In Ghosts, the author discusses these things freely and without too much guilt, with the exception of the guilt that the characters themselves feel.

Therefore, the play itself represents Realism. There are no deus ex machinas or choirs, no poignant endings, and no real solutions. The play should feel like being an invisible presence in someone's living room and seeing the true reality of people's lives, warts and all.

Symbolism comes in as early as the play's title: Ghosts . Mrs....

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 1083 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team