IO Presentation Biography of Henrik Ibsen. By: Shannon Horgan and Catherine Bond. Early Years.
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HenrikIbesnwas born on March 20, 1828, in Skien, Norway. As a young child Ibsen didn’t show any interest in theatre but he loved expressing himself in the form of art. Ibsen grew up in a wealthy family until he reached the age of 8 and his father’s business wasn’t doing well and his family went through poverty. This was a huge change in his life where he had to downsize from his luxury life to a small, rundown farm near town. Soon after he had to quit school at the age of 15 and start working. It wasn’t till around this age that he started writing plays.
Ibesn’s life lacks in grand experiences or episodes. He is viewed by many as an amazing writer that struggled with various rejections but in the end lead himself to victory and fame. By the age of 21, Ibsen left his family and went to Christiania, in school he did very well but he opted out of that to pursue his dream of becoming a writer. His first play, Catiline, was written in 1849 was rejected by every theatre he submitted it to. This was followed by numerous rejections by theatres but he was determined to keep trying and improving his writing until it was published.
An Enemy of the People, one of his most famous plays, was written as a response to the people who had rejected his previous work, Ghosts.
In 1858, Ibsen became the creative director for a Norwegian theatre. Despite Ibsen's failure to achieve success as a playwright, he gained a great deal of practical experience at the Norwegian Theater, experience that was to prove valuable when he continued writing.
He is often referred to as "the father of realism" and is one of the founders of Modernism in the theatre. Ibsen criticized not only the conservatism of society, but also the moderation of the time. He illustrated how people on both sides of the social scale could be equally self-serving. Ibsen harshly portrayed society’s negative sides and contributed to the realization they change has to be made.
Realismseeks to avoid supernatural or surreal events.It also asserts the power of the individual to choose. Realism tends to focus as much on the everyday, the ordinary, and the normal as events. Description in the plays was motivated, there were causally related scenes, inner psychological motivation was highlighted, the environment had an influence on characters’ personalities, and all the things characters did and all of things the characters used revealed their socio-economic setting.It also leans toward the everyday life of real people and the negative aspects of their lives.
His "realism" affected others, and helped lead to realistic theatre, which has become the major form of theatre even today.
It is believed that the plot of A Doll’s House was based on an event in Ibsen’s own life. In 1870, Laura Kieler had sent Ibsen a sequel to Brand, called Brand’s Daughters, and Ibsen had taken an interest in the pretty girl nicknaming her “the lark.” He invited her to his home, and for two months in the summer of 1872, she visited his home a lot. When she married, a couple of years later, her husband became ill and was advised to take a vacation in a warm climate–and Laura, like Nora does in the play, secretly borrowed money to finance the trip. Laura made a fake note but the bank refused payment, and she told her husband the whole story. He demanded a separation, removed the children from her care, and only took her back after she had spent a month in a public asylum.
Just before the he died, Henrik Ibsen sat up in bed and said loudly "On the contrary“. This message can serve as a summary of Ibsen´s personality. He frequently protested and was doubtful. Also, in his writing, he demonstrated skepticism towards established truths and raised doubts.