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Ghosts | Study Guide

Henrik Ibsen

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Ghosts | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

ghosts-henrik-ibsenOsvald AlvingArtistic son of Captain and Mrs. Alving; afflicted with syphilisPastor MandersExtremely moral family friend of the AlvingsJakob EngstrandHypocritical, alcoholic carpenterMrs. Helene AlvingRemorseful widow of Captain Alving; faces difficult choicesRegina EngstrandMrs. Alvings seductive maid; illegitimate daughter of Captain AlvingCaptain AlvingMrs. Alvings lecherous dead husband; haunts the storyThemesIndividual vs. SocietyMrs. Alving gives up personal happiness as she submits to societys rules.Truth vs. LiesThe Alving family is built on deception until Mrs. Alving can no longer bear it and tells the truth.ConsequencesThe choices of Captain Alving, Mrs. Alving, and even Pastor Manders lead to tragic ends.Years Captain Alving has been dead when the play begins10Year the first English translation of an Ibsen play (Emperor and Galilean) was published1876Morphine pills Osvald has saved to induce his death12Dramatic works written by Ibsen, of which Ghosts was the 17th2626Ghostsby the NumbersSymbolsOrphanageRepresents the hypocrisy of the Alving family with its buried secrets FireSymbolizes the destruction of those who live deceptively within the Alving estateSunRepresents the joy of life and individual freedom denied to Mrs. Alving, Osvald, and Captain Alving DiseaseSymbolizes the corruption of mind and body passed from Captain Alving to his son ut I almost believe we are ghosts, all of us, Pastor.Mrs. Alving to Pastor Manders, Act IIBorn in a small Norwegian town, Ibsen began writing plays in his early 20s. His realistic brand of social drama became extremely popular but was often controversial. Ghosts, with its references to venereal disease and euthanasia, was harshly criticized, with booksellers refusing to stock it when it was first published.HENRIK IBSEN1828–1906AuthorSet in the 1880s in a remote part of Norway, Ghosts tells the story of a troubled family. Helene Alving, a widow, is haunted by her unhappy marriage and unfaithful husband. As she tries to bury the past to avoid scandal, she reveals grim family secrets. Past actions have devastating consequences, especially for her beloved son, Osvald.A Past Haunted, a Future RuinedMAIN CHARACTERSSources: Encyclopaedia Britannica, National Library of Norway, New Statesman, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington, D.C. Copyright © 2016 Course Hero, Inc.Henrik Ibsen1882NorwegianPlayAuthorFirst PerformedOriginal LanguageGhostsDrama

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