This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Illusions And Realities In Ibsen’s Plays The Wild Duck And Ghosts

877 words - 4 pages

Illusions and Realities in Ibsen’s Plays The Wild Duck and Ghosts

In Ibsen’s The Wild Duck, illusions and reality are set into a conflict within the story of a son’s personal desire to confront idealism. Throughout much of the play, the son, Greger, argues the value of truth with the reluctant Dr. Relling. Relling insists on the importance of illusions, but fails to discourage Greger’s intentions and a play that begins as a comedy quickly turns into a tragedy because of these conflicts. At the heart of the illusions in this play are the ways that people assume many roles in a family, impersonating multiple ideals as ways for managing their relationships. This theme of impersonation is also developed in Ibsen’s Ghosts, where family relations are slowly undone as the illusions and deceptions are stripped away. In both plays, deceptions are strategic and designed to protect the children from the pains and struggles of their families’ histories. Ultimately, in these plays, families are held together by illusions, yet torn apart by truths that have been concealed to protect the children.

In The Wild Duck, as Relling continues to discourage Greger from revealing damaging truths about family secrets, Relling insists, "If you take away make-believe from the average man, you take away happiness as well" (Ibsen, 294). Relling is referring to the ways the Ekdal family is structured on particular deceptions; however, these are designed to protect the innocent as well as the guilty. Hedvig, the fourteen year old daughter, represents one of the innocents, and Greger’s father, Old Werle, represents a part of the guilty side. The key to these dualisms of false and truth, innocent and guilty, illusion and reality, lies in Ibsen’s art of realism, which was a staging of the complicated threads that hold ordinary lives together.

Within the ordinary lives of the families in Ghosts and The Wild Duck are tales of infidelity, corruption, greed, lust, disease, and other afflictions that characterize family secrets. For example, in Ghosts, the mother, Mrs. Alving, reveals the ways she has protected her son Oswald from the truths of her unhappy marriage. She tells her friend and priest, Manders, “…Yes, I was always swayed by duty and consideration for others; that was why I lied to my son, year in and year out. Oh, what a coward I have been” (315).

Manders responds, “You have built up a happy illusion in your son’s mind, Mrs. Alving – and that is a thing you certainly ought not...

Find Another Essay On Illusions and Realities in Ibsen’s Plays The Wild Duck and Ghosts

"The Wild Duck" By Henrik Ibsen

737 words - 3 pages In the Wild Duck, Henrik Ibsen begins his play by emphasizing the value of colour and light. He uses the theme of light to contrast Old Werle, a rich man, with Old Ekdal, a poor helpless man. Ibsen connects the colour green with the loss of eyesight of Old Werle. A possible affair between Old Werle and Gina, Hedvig's mother, may suggest the cause of Hedvig's loss of sight. By using sun and moon, Ibsen establishes the atmosphere of the scene. The

Lost Illusions, Bitter Wisdom and Fragile Hope in The Tempest

1315 words - 5 pages Lost Illusions, Bitter Wisdom and Fragile Hope in The Tempest    Is Shakespeare’s play, The Tempest, a drama of lost illusions, bitter wisdom and fragile hope? Before this question can be considered, one first has to interpret these terms. Perhaps "bitter wisdom" and "fragile hope" are fairly simple concepts to understand, "lost illusions" is somewhat less clear, particularly in the case of The Tempest.   There are three main

Obsolete Ideas in Chekhov's Ghosts and The Cherry Orchard

1582 words - 6 pages is symbolic of how the Ranevsky family are now leaving behind all the defunct theories that had taken over them. In the more realistic world it could represent the real end of the feudal Russian way of life. In this discussion, I will be talking about obsolete ideas as seen in the plays Ghosts and The Cherry Orchard. ¬Obsolete ideas are outdated and archaic ideas of life that are no longer relevant in their respective societies but nonetheless

Symbolism in Macbeth: Dagger, Ghosts, and Threes

1281 words - 5 pages the play. Shakespeare has been known for creating plays that are enjoyable to read, the language is not so difficult once you are familiar with it. The symbols in the play, are significant because they make it possible for readers to interpret to their understanding, and still understand the meaning of the play.These three symbols each have their own meanings that I will further discuss. Their purpose is to let readers stay interested, and to

Rights of Women in the Nineteenth Century and in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

1095 words - 4 pages Henrik Ibsen, who was born in Norway but made his name internationally, was a painter as well as the one of most famous playwrights during the period of Realism. Ibsen’s plays are well-known by the themes of domestic and political issues and conflict in nineteenth century. Scholars call it “Ibsen’s problems play” (Henrik Ibsen, 650). In addition, in Ibsen’s plays, the general topics that are usually discussed are hypocrisy of the society

Pursuit of Freedom Depicted in Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler and Albert Camus’ The Stranger

1520 words - 6 pages One’s own Freedom is what one desires to control the most in life. Yet in both Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler and Albert Camus’ The Stranger, Hedda and Meursault do not have this influence over themselves, because external factors force them to live their lives according to the society they live in. In both Hedda Gabler and The Stranger the main character are constantly reminded of the life they do not want through ordinary objects that typically

Zooloogists and the Wild

1136 words - 5 pages People have had to go out into the wild for hours and sometimes day. When they are a zoologist and a wildlife biologist they will have to study the animals in their natural habitat. It has been one of the things that people have liked to do the most and that is watching animals do what they do in a day. It is like going to the zoo ,but they are not having to go out into the wild of their natural habitat to find out more about the animals. They

Realism and God in Plays

984 words - 4 pages viable subject matter for realistic theatre? There is definitely reason to believe so considering these three points: first, in real life, people of the time and to this day have had strong faith in God and the unknown plans He has had for them, second that the realists of the time were accustomed to having God in their lives, so why would they not include it in their plays and thirdly, that God may be believed to be more of a spiritual being

Myths and Realities

2193 words - 9 pages Myths and Realities At least since the 1990 publication of Senge's The Fifth Discipline, the concept of the learning organization (LO) has been promoted as a way to restructure organizations to meet the challenges of the coming century. What are learning organizations-in theory and in practice? Are they a real solution or the latest in a series of reform fads? The myths and realities are explored in this publication. Getting a Grip on

Reconstruction:Clashing Dreams and Realities

1703 words - 7 pages Clashing dreams and realities is a good way to describe the ending of the Civil War. Prior to the war, the same conflicts were facing the north and south, but the problems escalated further after the southern Confederates were defeated and were forced to adopt new views. White and black Americans sought to reconstruct their lives to conform to the much new founded hatred and resentment towards the others race. The rise of new racist groups and

Postmodernism: Myths and Realities

1985 words - 8 pages Postmodernism: Myths and Realities A number of theorists and scholars have proclaimed that we now live in a postmodern world--a world better explained by theories and concepts different from those of the modern world dating from the Enlightenment and before. The theories and concepts of postmodernism are widely and prominently applied in adult education. So, how do postmodernists characterize postmodernism? What are the critics' critiques

Similar Essays

Untraditional Families In Ibsen’s "Ghosts" And Strindberg’s "The Father"

1428 words - 6 pages a gaping hole for her to fill. Ibsen’s Ghosts and Strindberg’s The Father both serve as enforcers of the truly unconventional families. Both work towards breaking that social ideology of gender dormancy. Women are not portrayed as worthless of less powerful, but yet the complete opposite since both Helene and Laura create their futures. Strindberg himself describes it in a nutshell through the voice of the Captain: “Even if all that is true

"A Doll's House" And "The Wild Duck" By Henrik Ibsen

1089 words - 4 pages problems were familiar to the audience. Ibsen's plays marked the end of the wildly romantic and artificial melodramas popular in the 19th century. His influence on 20th-century drama is immeasurable. Henrik Ibsen is renowned for not only his huge impact on theater and play writing, but also his widely used technique of symbolism in all of his work, including "A Doll's House" and "The Wild Duck."Imagery symbolically guides the process of self

The Wild Duck Essay

939 words - 4 pages Throughout his collection of performances in Four Great Plays, Henrik Ibsen addresses many problems with society. Among these include society's ability to obtain and withhold idealistic morals, and apply them amidst other members of society. However, in the play "The Wild Duck," Ibsen touches upon another sensitive subject of society: the interference of one into the relationship of another. In this play, Ibsen uses this practical subject and

Mysteries And The Belief In Ghosts

940 words - 4 pages Some people believe in ghosts and some people think that they are strictly made up for entertainment. There are many ghost stories roaming around in books and other places. Some have stories to back them, some don’t, and some have been misconstrued by going from person to person. Each city and state has their own legends that have been told and have grown year after year. One story took place near Woodson, Arkansas. One rainy night a man