Action and Consequence in Ibsen, Chekhov and Strindberg

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About the Book

Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov and August Strindberg—innovators of modern drama—created characters whose reckless pursuits of irrational objectives blind them to better options. Ibsen’s protagonists in A Doll’s House, Hedda Gabler and The Master Builder try to bend the world to conform to their personal visions—with disastrous results. Chekhov’s characters refuse to do anything, instead dramatizing their lives as if they were actors in a play (which they are). Rehearsing the intractable squabbles between men and women in The Dance of Death and The Ghost Sonata, Strindberg suggests that only in life beyond death can humanity transcend the brutality of existence. Together, the lives of these characters offer a study of the individual’s struggle with modernity.

About the Author(s)

Zander Brietzke has taught at Lehigh University, The College of Wooster and Columbia University. He is also a former production assistant, stage manager, and assistant director. He lives in Upper Montclair, New Jersey.

Bibliographic Details

Zander Brietzke
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 212
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7223-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3089-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  ix
Introduction: The Super Objective  1
Part 1
Ibsen: The Buried Secret and the Big Surprise  21
A Doll’s House (1879)  38
The Wild Duck (1884)  47
Hedda Gabler (1890)  57
The Master Builder (1892)  67
Part 2
Chekhov: Life in the Subjunctive Mood  77
The Seagull (1895)  93
Uncle Vanya (1896)  102
Three Sisters (1900)  111
The Cherry Orchard (1903)  121
Part 3
Strindberg: Isles of the Dead  131
Creditors (1889)  149
The Dance of Death (1900)  159
A Dream Play (1906)  167
The Ghost Sonata (1907)  177
Conclusion  188
Notes  191
Works Cited  193
Index  197