The Lady from the Sea

by Henrik Ibsen

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Last Updated on September 5, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 149

Ibsen’s play The Lady from the Sea is centered around a woman named Ellida. She is the daughter of a lighthouse keeper and, as the title suggests, she is fond of the landscape. Her husband is Doctor Edvard Wangel. He has two daughters, Bolette and Hilde, from his late first wife. Ellida and Edvard did have a son together, but he tragically died as an infant.

A character called The Stranger also plays a large part in the play. He is Ellida’s former lover who, years ago, fled the area after committing a crime. He returns to try to reunite with Ellida, to whom he was once engaged.

Other characters include: Arnholm, who was once both Bolette’s tutor and Ellida’s suitor but who, upon return, falls in love with Bolette and wishes to marry her; Lyngstrand, an aspiring sculptor; and Ballested, an eccentric local painter.

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