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Four Great Plays by Henrik Ibsen (Bantam Classics) Paperback – April 1, 1984


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Four Great Plays by Henrik Ibsen (Bantam Classics) + Hamlet (New Edition)  (Norton Critical Editions)
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Product Details

  • Series: Bantam Classics
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Classics; Reissue edition (April 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055321280X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553212808
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #477,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Here, in a single volume, are four major plays by the first modern playwright, Henrick Ibsen. Ghosts -the startling portrayal of a family destroyed by disease and infidelity. The Wild Duck -- A poignant drama of lost illusions. An Enemy Of The People -- Ibsen's vigorous attack on public opinion. And A Doll's House -- the play that scandalized the Victorian world with its unsparing views of love and marriage, featuring one of the most controversial heroines -- and one of the most famous exists -- in the literature of the stage.

From the Inside Flap

Here, in a single volume, are four major plays by the first modern playwright, Henrick Ibsen. Ghosts -the startling portrayal of a family destroyed by disease and infidelity. The Wild Duck -- A poignant drama of lost illusions. An Enemy Of The People -- Ibsen's vigorous attack on public opinion.  And A Doll's House -- the play that scandalized the Victorian world with its unsparing views of love and marriage, featuring one of the most controversial heroines -- and one of the most famous exists -- in the literature of the stage.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
Henrik Ibsen's creation of "modern theater" makes him one of the most influential playwrights, along with William Shakespeare and Samuel Beckett, in the history of drama. This unique collection of the four plays he wrote between 1879 and 1884 provides teachers of drama/literature with an opportunity to look at a major writer trying to develop his craft. Ibsen is concerned with social criticism and each of these plays reflects his change in perspective as he tries to write a drama that will be both socially relevant and commercially successful. You have to remember the time and place that considered it shocking for Nora to leave her husband or for Mrs. Alving to consider euthenasia for her son. By turning to "comedy" (of a sort) in "An Enemy of the People," Ibsen found a way of making his point in a manner more acceptable to his audiences. By looking at not only the plays but how each was received by the public, teachers/students can better appreciate what Ibsen was trying to do with each successive play.
For all four of these plays the notion of responsibility is primary. In "A Doll's House" Nora Helmer decides to leave her husband because he is unworthy of her love. In "Ghosts," Mrs. Alving has to decide whether she should give her diseased son poison as a mercy killing. In "An Enemy of the People," Dr. Stockmann decides to stay and fight to have the infected baths repaired even after the town ostracizes him. Finally, in "The Wild Duck" the idealist Gregers Werle comes home and destroys a family by insisting the truth be told. A classroom set of this particular volume is relatively inexpensive and provides an excellent case study of the growth of a major writer.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Robuck on May 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
So much in reading Ibsen depends upon the translation of these great works. These four plays of Ibsen's so-called "realistic period" revolve around social issues of his day which plague us 100 years later. Do we ever learn from such literary wake-up calls? Although the dramatic tensions here, which could have easily have been 20th Century tensions, rumble through these plays, the translations here are wordy and dated, thus making the plays sound overly melodramatic and at times downright silly. Still, everyone should read -- and discuss -- Ibsen's plays for their uneasy questions regarding universal social problems: money, privacy, freedom to act, government corruption, unchecked journalism, and the moral and physical diseases which only seem to wear a new face each year.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "gd1973@aol.com" on April 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
henrik ibsen has perfected the realist movement in theatre. he has accomplished what so few have: to maintain the realistic effect, without succumbing to the tediousness of every day life. his plays ring true for the common man, yet not in a pedestrian manner that becomes boring. in my opinion, he far surpasses any other playwright in the realist movement, including chekhov.
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By omakris on March 25, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this for OSHER (adult life learning class) and very satisfied. Well written introduction and the four major plays. Nice inexpensive paperback. Buy it if you want to read these plays.
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By Danielle Jamison on February 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is great! Henrik Ibsen is an amazing playwright. This book has comical aspects, but also hints at some societal issues during the time in which it was written. Very great book!!!!!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ed Harvey on August 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
While tame in today's society, A Doll's House was one of the first plays to address feminist issues. Ibsen masterfully sets up a plot that allows the reader/viewer of the play to begin to understand what it was like for women in the 1800's and see how difficult it was for them to become independent. This is a great read with characters that are likable are well developed. It is much better than other feminist books I have read from the same or later time frames such as Madame Bovary and The Heidi Chronicles.
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