‘ahems and ahahs’

Literature, & Etc.

The Lady from the Sea

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Edvard Munch

The Lady from the Sea Painted By: Edvard Munch

I just finished Henrik Ibsen’s The Lady from the Sea” and WOW is all I can say. A most impressive play and a vast improvement upon one of his earlier works, “A Doll’s House”, my only other interaction with his works. I urge everyone to go out and find a copy of this work, you will not be disappointed. The story focuses on a young woman who feels torn between two worlds, between two different men. I won’t say much more than this as I’d rather not spoil the plot.

One thing to note while reading this is the way in which Ibsen portrays the ego/id and subconscious as a natural and demonic force. The story is set in a small town by a fjord in northern Norway and Ibsen brings the mythology of the sea and of this area into the story, often times creating a sense of fantasy or fairy.

As I expected, Ibsen has presented a passionate and vibrant woman who is consumed by her place in society and the many constraints and restrictions imposed upon her status as a woman.

While the situation that Ellida is placed in is much different from that of Nora’s in “A Doll’s House” I am hoping that his other plays branch out into other areas as this focus on the home and the feminine place in the home, despite its importance and relevance during the turn of the century and now; could easily become a tired convention that is all to common in his work. But I will not know this until I read more of his plays.

According to the introduction to this play written by Michael Meyer, this play most accurately depicts Ibsen’s own biographical interactions with the various women in his life. The play touches on many relationship subjects: the marriage proposal, expectations of the role of the wife, the “marriage contract” and what does that entail all of which Ibsen had some rather soap opera like experiences with.

Well worth your time and money. A brilliant playwright, it is no wonder that Jim felt the urge to learn Norwegian and write a letter to this aging master.

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Written by thebeliever07

September 4, 2008 at 12:42 pm

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