Henrik Ibsen

1828 – 1906

Ibsen is a world-famous playwright and generally acknowledged as the founder of modern prose drama. He moved away from the Romantic style, unmasking the romantic hero, and brought the problems and ideas of the day onto his stage. He found himself unable to identify with any existing forms of drama, so Henrik Ibsen set out to create his own.

Along the way, Ibsen experienced multiple shifts in dramatic form and philosophy as he gradually came to terms with the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual forces that were at war within his complex psyche. But throughout, his plays are characterized by their rebellious spirit and their unforgiving scrutiny of Ibsen's own faults and virtues. For half of a century he had devoted his life and his energies to the art of drama, and he had won international acclaim as the greatest and most influential dramatist of his time.

- Born in 1828 in Skien / Norwy

- Son of a rich business man, who went bankrupt when Henrik was 8 years old (this bitter experience became later subject of several of his plays)

- Became a pharmacist and went to university in 1850, politically active

- Wrote poems and his first drama: "Catilina"

- 1851 Director of the new theatre in Bergen, several performances of his plays

- 1857 – 62 Director of "Norske Teatret" in Oslo

- 1558 Marriage with Susannah Thoresen

- 1864 – 91 Ibsen lived in Rom, Dresden, Munich

- Henrik Ibsen became famous for his "Thesis and Discussion Theatre" during his extended stay abroad

- died 1906 in Oslo


"…But only what has been lived through can be seen in that way and accepted in that way. And the secret of modern literature lies precisely in this matter of experiences that are lived through. All that I have written these last ten years, I have lived through spiritually."
('Speech to the Norwegian Students, September 10, 1874, from Speeches and New Letters, 1910)

"A woman cannot be herself in the society of the present day, which is an exclusively masculine society, with laws framed by men and with judicial system that judges feminine conduct from a masculine point of view."
(from Ibsen's Workshop, 1912)


"Brand" (1866)

"Peer Gynt" (1867)

"A Doll’s House" (1879)

"Ghosts" (1881)

"An Enemy of the People" (1882)

"The Lady from the Sea" (1888)

"Hedda Gabler" (1890)

„John Gabriel Borkmann" (1896)

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