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Course Description

No one did more to inaugurate modern drama than the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906). That revival of plays such as  Hedda Gabler, The Wild Duck, and The Master Builder are mounted regularly around the world testifies to the enduring power of his theatrical vision. Students will begin this course by reading one of the three "dramatic poems" that brought Ibsen to fame and then move on to the cycle of prose realist plays, starting with Pillars of Society and ending with When We Dead Awaken, that marks his mature work and stands as his legacy. While historical, cultural, and philosophical contexts will be discussed, we will especially focus on issues of self and society and the ways and means by which the characters in Ibsen's plays try to define their place in the social order and make sense of the world they inhabit.

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