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Four Major Plays (A Doll's House, The Wild Duck, Hedda Gabler, The Master Builder
Four Major Plays A Doll's House The Wild Duck Hedda Gabler The Master Builder Author:Henrik Ibsen Henrik Ibsen — Four Major Plays — A Doll's House, The Wild Duck, Hedda Gabler, The Master Builder — Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) holds a very key position in the history of European drama. The golden age of the theatre--Shakespeare in England, Calderon in Spain, and Racine in France--was barely a memory at the beginning of the nineteenth century. One... more » the one hand, the theatres were full--but they played melodramas and farces; on the other the great creative artists of the century--Shelley, Byron, and later Tennyson and Browning--tried their hand at drama only to find that what they had written was unactable "closet drama," better read at home in the privacy of the study. Theatre is a communal art. The dramatist must be able to evoke a collective response from a live audience. It was partly due to the influence of the romantic movement at the beginning of the nineteenth century that the great gap between popular melodrama and "highbrow" art had arisen, since the romantic writers laid particular emphasis on the individual and his personal experiences rather than on the individual as a member of the community. Personal spiritual experiences make better poems than plays.
Ibsen changed all that by introducing real people in real situations, by tackling political and social issues of the day, and by changing, with some regret, from poetry to prose.