Henrik Ibsen World Literature Analysis - Essay

Henrik Ibsen World Literature Analysis

(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Ibsen’s protagonists generally have great difficulty in coming to terms with the ideas, institutions, and laws that direct their lives. For that reason, they battle for freedom and truth, though their efforts are frequently undermined by the fact that their own past misdeeds threaten to destroy them. This pattern is already evident in Cataline, the protagonist of Ibsen’s first play. An ardent idealist, Cataline is powerless to reform a corrupt society because he is haunted by the ghosts of his own past. The two women in his life, his gentle wife Aurelia and the avenging Furia, represent the opposing forces at war within him. The alternative to active engagement with the forces that limit freedom is aesthetic withdrawal. The...

(The entire section is 4071 words.)