The plays in this volume focus on the family and how it struggles to stay together by telling lies – and exposing them. In “Ghosts”, Osvald Alving returns home only to discover the truth about the father he always looked up to, and learns the horrific effect his father’s debauchery has had on him. It was Ibsen’s most provocative drama, stripping away the surface of a middle-class family to expose layers of hypocrisy and immorality. “A Public Enemy” sets two brothers against each other when one wishes to make public the facts about the polluted water in the public baths of their home town. And “When We Dead Wake” tells of an artist meeting an old lover by chance and rejecting his wife, in a symbolic exploration of Ibsen’s own literary life and the sacrifices he made in his work.
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Henrik Ibsen was born of well-to-do parents at Skien, a small Norwegian coastal town, on March 20, 1828. In 1836 his father went bankrupt, and the family was reduced to near poverty. At the age of fifteen, he was apprenticed… More about Henrik Ibsen
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Published by Penguin Classics Jun 30, 1964| 304 Pages| ISBN 9780140441352