> Skip to content
  • Published: 5 December 2019
  • ISBN: 9780141964164
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 400

Hedda Gabler and Other Plays




The final volume in the new Penguin Ibsen series: superb modern translations of four of Ibsen's greatest plays

In these four unforgettably intense plays, Henrik Ibsen explores the complex nature of truth, the tension between freedom and responsibility, and the terrible pull that the past exerts over the present. In The Wild Duck an idealist destroys a family by exposing the lie behind his friend's marriage. In Rosmersholm, a respectable man is driven to extremes by guilt over his wife's death, while in The Lady from the Sea a woman is caught between her family and the enticement of the wild sea. And in Hedda Gabler, one of Ibsen's most famous and vivid anti-heroines struggles to break free from the conventional life she has created for herself, with tragic results.

  • Published: 5 December 2019
  • ISBN: 9780141964164
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 400

About the author

Henrik Ibsen

Henrik Ibsen was born of well-to-do parents at Skien, a small Norwegian coastal town, on March 20, 1828. In 1836 his father went bankrupt, and the family was reduced to near poverty. At the age of fifteen, he was apprenticed to an apothecary in Grimstad. In 1850 Ibsen ventured to Christiania—present-day Oslo—as a student, with the hope of becoming a doctor. On the strength of his first two plays he was appointed 'theater-poet' to the new Bergen National Theater, where he wrote five conventional romantic and historical dramas and absorbed the elements of his craft.

In 1857 he was called to the directorship of the financially unsound Christiania Norwegian Theater, which failed in 1862. In 1864, exhausted and enraged by the frustration of his efforts toward a national drama and theater, he quit Norway for what became twenty-seven years of voluntary exile abroad. In Italy he wrote the volcanic Brand (1866), which made his reputation and secured him a poet's stipend from the government. Its companion piece, the phantasmagoric Peer Gynt, followed in 1867, then the immense double play, Emperor and Galilean (1873), expressing his philosophy of civilization.

Meanwhile, having moved to Germany, Ibsen had been searching for a new style. With The Pillars of Society he found it; this became the first of twelve plays, appearing at two-year intervals, that confirmed his international standing as the foremost dramatist of his age. In 1900 Ibsen suffered the first of several strokes that incapacitated him. He died in Oslo on May 23, 1906.

Also by Henrik Ibsen

See all

Related titles