Preface to Drama: An Introduction to Dramatic Literature and Theater Art

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IV. HEDDA GABLER
A Realistic Tragedy by Henrik Ibsen

Introductory Note to Henrik Ibsen and Hedda Gabler

IF MOLIÈRE AND French neoclassic drama were most strongly influential in the theater of the later seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and Shakespeare throughout the nineteenth, certainly Ibsen has exerted the greatest influence thus far upon the twentieth. He has been the "father" of modern drama, as we noted earlier, and Hedda Gabler is doubtless his most effective play in the theater and a most provocative drama.

Henrik Ibsen was born in 1828 in Skein, a shipping town on the southeast coast of Norway. His father was of mixed Danish, Scotch, and German descent; his mother, of German. Financial reverses removed the family from the big house in the center of town to poverty in a little broken-down farmhouse. The boy Henrik was given private schooling until he was fifteen; at that time he wanted to become an artist. At sixteen he left home for good, apprenticed to an apothecary at the seaport village of Grimstad, where he lived out his taciturn and lonely adolescence, compounding drugs and verse lampoons upon the customers, seething with private revolt and the revolutionary causes of 1848. By the time he was twenty-two, he had written a blank-verse tragedy, Cataline, which one of his two friends took up to Christiania ( Oslo) in a vain attempt to find a producer and publisher for him. Ibsen followed, and starved and wrote plays in the capital for a year or so. Then he fortunately secured appointment as "theater poet" of the new National Theater of Bergen, established by the great Norwegian violinist Ole Bull. In Bergen for six years--with a tour for study at the Royal Theater in Copenhagen--Ibsen wrote, translated, adapted, and directed plays, mastering at first hand the problems of theater and dramaturgy. He married at twenty-eight, then accepted an appointment at the second

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Preface to Drama: An Introduction to Dramatic Literature and Theater Art
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Preface to Drama: - An Introduction to Dramatic Literature and Theater Art i
  • Title Page i
  • Foreword iii
  • Contents v
  • Part One - The Preface 1
  • I - Preliminary 3
  • II - The Playscript 25
  • Scene I 44
  • Scene II 52
  • III - The Stageplay 64
  • IV - The Play 93
  • V - The Drama 124
  • H.M.S. Pinafore or the Lass That Loved a Sailor 145
  • Part Two - The Plays 181
  • I - Antigone 185
  • Scene I 192
  • Scene II 197
  • Scene IV 202
  • Scene V 206
  • II - Othello 221
  • Act One 224
  • Scene III - The Council Chamber. 229
  • Act Two 232
  • Scene II - A Street. 242
  • Act Three 251
  • Scene II - A Room in the Citadel. 261
  • Scene IV - Before the Citadel. 263
  • Act Four 276
  • Scene II - A Room in the Citadel. 282
  • Scene III - State Bedroom in the Citadel. 290
  • Act Five 297
  • III - The Ridiculous PræCieuses 320
  • Scene I - La Grange, Du Croisy 323
  • Scene IV - Madelon, Cathos, Gorgibus. 324
  • Scene V - Cathos, Madelon. 325
  • Scene VII - Mascarille, Two Chairmen. 327
  • Scene VIII - Marotte, Mascarillie. 328
  • Scene X - Cathos, Madelon, Mascarille, Marotte. 330
  • Scene XI - Cathos, Madelon, Jodelet, Mascarille, Marotte, Almanzor. 334
  • Scene XII - Lucile, CéLimène, Cathos, Madelon, Mascarille, Jodelet, Marotte, Almanzor, and Fiddlers. 335
  • Scene XIII - Du Croisy, la Grange, Cathos, Madelon, Lucile, CéLimène, Jodelet, Mascarille, Marotte, and Fiddlers. 337
  • Scene XVI - Madelon, Cathos, Jodelet, Mascarille, and Fiddlers. 338
  • Scene. XVIII - Gorgibus, Madelon, Cathos, and Fiddlers. 339
  • IV - Hedda Gabler 344
  • Act Two 347
  • Act Three 370
  • Act Four 390
  • V - Candida 420
  • Act I 423
  • Act II 445
  • VI: Life with Father - A Period Comedy by Lindsay and Crouse 482
  • Act One 485
  • Scene II 503
  • Scene II 517
  • Act Three 548
  • VII - The Glass Menagerie 569
  • Scene 1 572
  • Scene 2 578
  • Scene 3 583
  • Scene 5 587
  • Scene 6 594
  • Scene 7 601
  • VIII - The Crucible 636
  • Act One - (An Overture) 639
  • Act Two 663
  • Act Four 683
  • Appendix 731
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