Henrik Ibsen

Henrik Ibsen

Playwright


Biography


Henrik Ibsen was born in 1828 in Skien, in the south of Norway. When he was fifteen, his father sent him to the small provincial town of Grimstad to become an apothecary's apprentice. During this time time he began to write poetry, and learned Latin in preparation for applying for university. After six years in Grimstad he moved to the capital, Christiania (later renamed Oslo). He published his first play, Catiline, under the pseudonym Brynjolf Bjarme, soon followed by The Burial Mound, Ibsen’s first play to be produced. In 1851, Ibsen moved to Bergen, Norway to become an assistant at the Norske Teater, which was an important apprenticeship for his development as a dramatist. He wrote and staged plays for the theatre, as well as directing, thus gaining insight into all aspects of theatrical production. He moved back to Christiania in 1857 to become the artistic director of the Norwegian Theatre and married Suzannah Thoreson. Dissatisfied with Norwegian politics and his lack of success as a writer, Ibsen moved his family to Italy in 1864.

In 1865, he published what is considered his first major work, Brand. Ironically, this play was a great Norwegian success and earned him a state stipend and financial stability. His success continued with Peer Gynt, a fantastical verse drama for which Edvard Grieg composed the music.

Ibsen moved from Italy to Germany in 1868 and began work on his first contemporary realist drama The Pillars of Society, first published and performed in 1877. _A Doll's House _followed in 1879, along with Ghosts in 1881, and The Wild Duck (1884). Late in his career, Ibsen turned to a more introspective drama such as as Hedda Gabler (1890) and The Master Builder (1892).

Ibsen completely rewrote the rules of drama with a realism that was to be adopted later by writers such as Anton Chekhov. He died in 1906 after a series of strokes.


Shows by Henrik Ibsen

Title
Synopsis

The play presents the story of a man named Brand, a priest with a stark vision of a demanding, inflexible god. Brand's implacable insistence on moral rigor and his unwillingness to compromise his self-imposed standards of hol... read more

Ibsen's A Doll's House is a revolutionary classic. The play was integral in establishing realism as a theatrical form, and continues to be a provocative portrayal of a woman suffering in a man's world. Nora and Torvald Helmer... read more

A coastal town in Norway is on its way to becoming a major health resort, thanks to its new municipal baths. In anticipation of an influx of tourists in the coming summer season, property values are rising, business is pickin... read more

Weaving an intricate web of emotion, Ibsen's Ghosts masterfully reveals the high cost of keeping secrets to save face, and the damage the truth can do when it's told too late. It should be a happy day in Mrs Alving's househo... read more

In Richard Eyre’s Olivier-award-winning adaptation of Ibsen’s groundbreaking masterpiece, long-held secrets are revealed, uncomfortable truths are faced, and a troubled family meets a cruel and unavoidable fate. On her estate... read more

Hedda Gabler focusses on the frustrated existence of its title character, exploring core issues of power, control, and social expectation. Bored and restricted by her middle-class environment, Hedda plays out her own fantasie... read more

Gregers Werle has returned from the Hoidal works up north and unexpectedly turned up at his father’s house, a place of secrets and sins. Gregers accuses his father of scapegoating his former business partner, and then acting... read more

Overview

Nationality
Norwegian
Born
3/20/1828
Died
5/23/1906
Show Categories
Play
Genres
Drama, Comedy, Dark Comedy