Peer Gynt

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Penguin, 1966 - Drama - 222 pages
13 Reviews
Ibsen's last work to use poetry as a medium of dramatic expression, Peer Gynt carries the marks of his later, prose plays. Its literary antecedents include Faust and Hans Christian Andersen, but the play draws on Ibsen's own childhood and character. He wrote that he derived many features of Peer Gynt from "self-dissection," creating a self-centered and irresponsible, but ultimately forgiveable, rogue.

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Review: Peer Gynt

User Review  - Matthew - Goodreads

Peer Gynt is Ibsen's most famous work and possibly the most famous work of Norwegian literature. It would be tempting therefore to say that it needs no introduction, but of course it does. It seems ... Read full review

Review: Peer Gynt

User Review  - Richard Brear - Goodreads

"Peer Gynt" would be an awfully challenging play to "stage." For one thing, there are so many settings, ranging from forests to deserts, oceans to mountaintops. Canyons, villages, floating wreckage ... Read full review

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Page 12 - In Brand the hero is an embodied protest against the poverty of spirit and half-heartedness that Ibsen rebelled against in his countrymen. In Peer Gynt the hero is himself the embodiment of that spirit. In Brand the fundamental antithesis, upon which, as its central theme, the drama is constructed, is the contrast between the spirit of compromise on the one hand, and the motto ' everything or nothing
Page 18 - ... alternation of stresses, stronger and weaker; the presence in verse of silent and invisible feet, like rests in music ; the reason why some lines of different length will combine harmoniously while others can only be so combined by great skill or good luck; why, while blank verse can be written in lines of ten or six syllables, a series of octosyllables ceases to be verse if they are not rhymed ; how Coleridge, in applying the new principle which he announced in the preface to Christabel...
Page 10 - God-send, of the providential dispensation in it ; for I feel that this anger is invigorating all my powers. If it is to be war, then let it be war ! If I am no poet, then I have nothing to lose. I shall try my luck as a photographer.

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About the author (1966)

Henrik Ibsen was born of well-to-do parents at Skien, a small Norwegian coastal town, on March 20, 1828. In 1836 his father went bankrupt, and the family was reduced to near poverty. At the age of fifteen, he was apprenticed to an apothecary in Grimstad. In 1850 Ibsen ventured to Christiania?present-day Oslo?as a student, with the hope of becoming a doctor. On the strength of his first two plays he was appointed “theater-poet” to the new Bergen National Theater, where he wrote five conventional romantic and historical dramas and absorbed the elements of his craft. In 1857 he was called to the directorship of the financially unsound Christiania Norwegian Theater, which failed in 1862. In 1864, exhausted and enraged by the frustration of his efforts toward a national drama and theater, he quit Norway for what became twenty-seven years of voluntary exile abroad. In Italy he wrote the volcanic Brand (1866), which made his reputation and secured him a poet's stipend from the government. Its companion piece, the phantasmagoric Peer Gynt, followed in 1867, then the immense double play, Emperor and Galilean (1873), expressing his philosophy of civilization. Meanwhile, having moved to Germany, Ibsen had been searching for a new style. With The Pillars of Society he found it; this became the first of twelve plays, appearing at two-year intervals, that confirmed his international standing as the foremost dramatist of his age. In 1900 Ibsen suffered the first of several strokes that incapacitated him. He died in Oslo on May 23, 1906.

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