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The Revolt of Henrik Ibsen

by Robert Brustein

Nineteenth-century audiences looked to the theater for comfort and affirmation, but in mid-century this ease began to disappear. Modern drama brought to the stage an attitude of revolt. It often became, in the words of the distinguished critic Robert Brustein, “relentless, inconsolable, bleak.” The new playwright spread “a gospel of insurrection, trying to substitute his inspired vision for traditional values, trying to improvise a ritual out of anguish and frustration. Instead of myths of communion, he offers myths of dispersal; instead of consoling sermons, painful demands; instead of a liturgy of acceptance, a liturgy of complaint.” The man who first brought the theater to this confrontation with reality was Henrik Ibsen. Rather than simply creating a clever plot, Ibsen presents the characters of contemporary society and their psychological conflicts. He is the progenitor of modern drama. Here Mr. Brustein explores the nature of his revolt.

The Revolt of Henrik Ibsen details:

ISBN: 978-1-937853-42-6

Words: 16,504

Pages: 36

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Tags:  Theater - Drama - messianism