There are many influences that affect a man’s opinion about women. Influences such as personal experiences, rumors, and the women in a man’s life help form his opinion of a woman. Henrik Ibsen and Oscar Wilde are two playwrights who reflected their beliefs about women in their plays. Ibsen and Wilde both believe that society shunned women, unfairly forcing them into a submissive role, under the control of men.
On March 20, 1828, Henrik Johan Ibsen was born in Skien, Norway (Merriman Ibsen 1) and had four biological siblings (Meyer 13) His parents went from wealthy to poor at his age of six (Meyer 13). Ibsen was rumored to be a illegitimate child, possibly conceived before his mother married (Meyer 15). “Bankruptcy and illegitimacy recur specter like throughout his work” (Meyer 16) Ibsen went to college at Christiania (Oslo) and was the editor of the school newspaper (Merriman Ibsen 1). While in his twenties he directed many successful drama plays in Norway (Merriman Ibsen 1). After moving to Germany in 1858, Ibsen Married Suzannah Thoreson and together had one son (Merriman Ibsen 1). Many of Ibsen’s plays have thoughts or actions of suicide. “It has been said that Ibsen himself suffered from depression and at times contemplated suicide. Social breakdown, stereotypes, class struggle and issues of morality dominate his characters (Merriman Ibsen 1).
On October 16, 1854, Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in Dublin, Ireland (Merriman Wilde 1). Wilde had two biological siblings and his mother was a poet who influenced him (Merriman Wilde 1). His father was a facial surgeon, philanthropist, and a knight (Merriman Wilde 1). Wilde was home schooled for about ten years before leaving for Trinity College in Dublin for three years (Merriman Wilde 1). Shorty afterwards, Wilde left for Magdalen College in Oxford where he was majorly influenced by writer and critic Walter Pater (Merriman Wilde 1). Wilde met the love of his life in 1884 and married Constance Mary Lloyd (Merriman Wilde 1). Together they had two sons and settled in Chelsea, London (Merriman Wilde 1). Seven years later, Wilde met an English poet, Lord Alfred Douglas, whom he had many homosexual affairs with (Merriman Wilde 1). This relationship causes him many tribulations in his life (Merriman Wilde 1). Wilde lost a court case where he was sentenced to prison for two years (Merriman Wilde 1).
Though Ibsen and Wilde both lived in the same time period in Europe, their lives are completely different. Both writers grew up with siblings and parents. Ibsen and Wilde both wanted to question society and change it. Ibsen had a traditional marriage and grown up life. However, Wilde lived a life of secrecy, love, risk, and lust for both genders. Both men’s lives influenced the content of their work, as their real life experiences were reflected in their plays. Each man’s decisions and circumstances influenced their values and their writings.
Henrik Ibsen was a popular playwright from...