Hedda Gabler and Other Plays
THE PILLARS OF THE COMMUNITY; THE WILD DUCK; HEDDA GABLER
‘Don’t let’s have any more of these reminiscences, I tell you. You don’t know how you’re tormenting me, raking up all this’
In these three unforgettably intense plays, Henrik Ibsen explores the problems of personal and social morality that he perceived in the world around him and, in particular, the complex nature of truth. The Pillars of the Community (1877) depicts a corrupt shipowner’s struggle to hide the sins of his past at the expense of another man’s reputation, while in The Wild Duck (1884) an idealist, believing he must tell the truth at any cost, destroys a family by exposing the lie behind his friend’s marriage. And Hedda Gabler (1890) portrays an unhappily married woman who is unable to break free from the conventional life she has created for herself, with tragic results for the entire family.
Una Ellis-Fermor’s translation renders Ibsen’s naturalistic dialogue in fluent modern English. In her introduction, she examines Ibsen’s development as a dramatist, and the language and psychological characterization of his plays.