Ghosts ; A Public Enemy ; When We Dead WakeBook - 1964
With three plays focusing on the family and how it struggles to stay together by telling lies - and exposing them, Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts and Other Plays is translated with an introduction by Peter Watts in Penguin Classics.
In Ghosts , Osvald Alving returns home only to discover the truth about the father he always looked up to, and learns the horrific effect his father's debauchery has had on him. It was Ibsen's most provocative drama, stripping away the surface of a middle-class family to expose layers of hypocrisy and immorality. A Public Enemy sets two brothers against each other when one wishes to make public the facts about the polluted water in the public baths of their home town. And When We Dead Wake tells of an artist meeting an old lover by chance and rejecting his wife, in a symbolic exploration of Ibsen's own literary life and the sacrifices he made in his work.
Peter Watts's translation maintains the colloquial tone of the original dialogue. He has also provided an introduction and notes on the texts.
Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) turned to journalism and playwriting instead of pursuing a university career. Ibsen was one of the earliest writers to dramatise the individual's alienation from society. Although Ibsen was never fully appreciated during his lifetime, he has since come to be recognised as one of the great dramatists of all time and the 'Father of Modern Drama'.
If you enjoyed Ghosts , you might like Ibsen's A Doll's House and Other Plays , also available in Penguin Classics.