Henrik Ibsen

Portrait by [[Eilif Peterssen]], 1895 Henrik Johan Ibsen (; ; 20 March 1828 – 23 May 1906) was a Norwegian playwright and theatre director. As one of the founders of modernism in theatre, Ibsen is often referred to as "the father of realism" and one of the most influential playwrights of his time, as well of one of the most influential playwrights in Western literature more generally. His major works include ''Brand'', ''Peer Gynt'', ''Emperor and Galilean'', ''A Doll's House'', ''Ghosts'', ''An Enemy of the People'', ''The Wild Duck'', ''Rosmersholm'', ''Hedda Gabler'', ''The Master Builder'', and ''When We Dead Awaken''. Ibsen is the most frequently performed dramatist in the world after Shakespeare, and ''A Doll's House'' was the world's most performed play in 2006.

Ibsen's early poetic and cinematic play ''Peer Gynt'' has strong surreal elements. After ''Peer Gynt'' Ibsen abandoned verse and wrote in realistic prose. Several of his later dramas were considered scandalous to many of his era, when European theatre was expected to model strict morals of family life and propriety. Ibsen's later work examined the realities that lay behind the façades, revealing much that was disquieting to a number of his contemporaries. He had a critical eye and conducted a free inquiry into the conditions of life and issues of morality. In many critics' estimates ''The Wild Duck'' and ''Rosmersholm'' are "vying with each other as rivals for the top place among Ibsen's works"; Ibsen himself regarded ''Emperor and Galilean'' as his masterpiece.

Ibsen is often ranked as one of the most distinguished playwrights in the European tradition, and is widely regarded as the foremost playwright of the nineteenth century. Ibsen influenced other playwrights and novelists such as George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, and James Joyce. Considered a profound poetic dramatist, he is widely regarded as the most important playwright since Shakespeare. Shaw claimed that the new naturalism of Ibsen's plays had made Shakespeare obsolete. Ibsen is commonly described as the most famous Norwegian internationally.

Ibsen was born into the merchant elite of the port town of Skien and described his own background as patrician, and he grew up as a member of the IbsenPaus extended family. Through the Paus family, Ibsen's parents were raised as social "near-siblings." Although most of Ibsen's plays are set in Norway—often in places reminiscent of Skien—Ibsen lived for 27 years in Italy and Germany—mainly in Rome, Dresden and Munich—and rarely visited Norway during his most productive years. Ibsen's dramas were informed by his background, and he often modelled or named characters after family members. Ibsen wrote his plays in Dano-Norwegian,}} and they were published by the Danish publisher Gyldendal. He was the father of Prime Minister Sigurd Ibsen. Provided by Wikipedia
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