Iconoclasts: A Book of Dramatists

Iconoclasts: A Book of Dramatists

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Iconoclasts: A Book of Dramatists

Iconoclasts: A Book of Dramatists

Read FREE!

Excerpt

FERDINAND BRUNETIÈRE has declared that "there can be no tragedy without a struggle; nor can there be genuine emotion for the spectator unless something other and greater than life is at stake." This so exactly defines the dramas of Henrik Ibsen that it might have been specifically written to describe their dramatic and ethical content. Whatever else Ibsen's works may be, they are first soul dramas; the human soul is not only their shadowy protagonist, but it is the stake for which his characters breathlessly game throughout the vast halls of his poetic and historic plays and within those modern middle-class apartments, where the atmosphere seems rarefied by the intensity of the struggle. "Greater than life" means for Ibsen the immortal soul--immortal not in the theologic, but generic sense; the soul of the species, which never had a beginning and never can have an end. With this precious . . .

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