The three plays in this volume cover the period during which Ibsen (1828-1906) was preoccupied wih realistic problems of personal and social morality. In The Pillars of the Community, partly by means of symbolism, he exposes the effects of a lie told to preserve a man's public reputation. The solution - to admit the truth - scarcely seemed so simple seven years later, when Ibsen completed The Wild Duck in apparent disillusionment. Hedda Gabler, the latest of these plays, is both a drama of individual conflict and a partial return to social themes.
In these three unforgettably intense plays, Henrik Ibsen explores the problems of personal and social morality that he perceived in the world around him and, in particular, the complex nature of truth. The Pillars of the Community (1877) depicts a corrupt shipowner’s struggle to hide the sins of his past at the expense of another man’s reputation, while in The Wild Duck (1884) an idealist, believing he must tell the truth at any cost, destroys a family by exposing the lie behind his friend’s marriage. And Hedda Gabler (1890) portrays an unhappily married woman who is unable to break free from the conventional life she has created for herself, with tragic results for the entire family.
Henrik Ibsen was born at Skien in Norway in 1828. He was one of the earliest writers to dramatise the individual's alienation from society. Although never fully appreciated during his lifetime, he has since come to be recognised as one of the greatest dramatists and the 'Father of Modern Drama'. Una Ellis-Fernor has also translated other Ibsen works for the Penguin Classics.
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