Friday, February 24, 2012

Some Ibsen Plays

Alright, well, can you believe it? It's already Friday. That means I should have three short stories for you. I don't. Instead, I have something a little different to offer you this week. How about a couple of plays by Henrik Ibsen? I'm sure that had ought to work just as well. You may have heard of some of Ibsen's work already. His two most famous works are "A Doll's House" and "Peer Gynt." However, these are not the plays that I want to talk about tonight. Instead, I would rather focus on three other plays by Ibsen. Those are "Ghosts," "Hedda Gabler," and "John Gabriel Borkman."

The title for "Ghosts" in its original language, Danish, is "Gengangere," which Wikipedia says can be more accurately translated to "The Revenants," though I like it's name in Norwegian: "Again Walkers" from igjen (again) and gangere (walkers). It's a classic tale of the sins of the father being passed on to the son. But the story and dialogue are interesting within themselves.

"Hedda Gabler" refers to the main character of this play, though Gabler is her maiden name. Her married name is Tesmen. This is a story about a woman who in a sense is bored to death with her life. Hedda causes a lot of mischief for the other characters of this play, but whether she should be portrayed as a heroine or a villain is really up to the reader. She actually reminds me a lot of Nancy from the television show "Weeds." In fact, Mary-Louise Parker, who portrays Nancy on the show, has played Hedda on stage.

The last story, though written over one hundred years ago, should speak just as clear to us now as it did back then. "John Gabriel Borkman" is about a man who goes to prison for embezzling money with illegal speculations for his investors. Sounds familiar, right? Isn't that sort of the whole reason why the markets crashed a few years ago? But give this story a try. It's got a big scandal and even some love interests. It's a lot more exciting than I am making it sound right now, I promise.

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