Social Analysis in the Ibsen Drama

Rebecca R. Pitts


Forty of fifty years ago it seemed that the rollicking mirth and breathless passion of romance was gone, perhaps forever, from the pages of world literature. It was a strenuous time, in which a Browning preached determined optimism, and a Tennyson tried to reconcile science and religion for the doubters, while novelists and dramatics the world over were trying to improve society from their respective pulpits and soap-boxes. It was a solemn epoch, a little too self-concious about its ethical duty, and a little exaggerated in its attempts at social reconstruction; but it swept out for us many an old musty belief, exposed to our view many corruptions we might not have dared to drag out, and, in fine, proved to be a period of wholesome though somewhat painful self-scrutiny on the part of society.