Rukhaya M.K

A Literary Companion

Category: Others

Play Analysis : Henrik Ibsen’s “Ghosts”


Ibsen’s “Ghosts” is a slap on the face of those critics who questioned the stand of Nora in A Doll’s House. It blends an assortment of themes together. It presents the conflict between social dictums and individual choice, marriage and living-in, euthanasia and venereal disease, and selfless love and selfish love. The play holds a special relevance in the world of today as it relates with the contemporary times.

Mrs. Alving is the so-called Nora who does not bang the door on selfless love and does not shun social dictates and continues in the garb of the “perfect wife”. The consequences that she meets with are ‘Ghosts’ haunting her in the form of the depression of solitude, the immoral stand of her disease-ridden son and the burning of her dreamsin the form of Mr.Alving’s home. It is contrasted with the selfish love of Regina to foreground the former, where the latter hails the “joy of living”, it reigning supreme. An unlearned person like Engstrand has a better perception of morality in that he comprehends that saving a falling woman at the cost of a lie uttered, is in good spirits than adhering to superficial ideals of morality. Pastor Manders’ decision to help Engstrand to begin a Home for Sailors that is a brothel house in disguise highlights the underlying hypocrisy in the pastor’s teachings.…

Play Analysis: Luigi Pirandello’s “Six Characters in Search of an Author “


“The play represents the coming together of art and life, of fixed form and reality…he exemplifies not only the problems of creating a play, but also the futility since the play is just one more of the illusions that man builds up to convince himself he can escape from the processes that shape his existence.”(Susan Basnet and Mcguire) In this sense, the play supports Freud’s concept of creative writers as he illustrates in “Creative Writers and Day-Dreaming. Every piece of writing is the fulfillment of a wish, an unsatisfactory reality.

Six Characters in Search of an Author mainly represents the conflict between illusion and reality. The stage manager strives his maximum to make his characters appear true. This bears testimony to the fact that they are true. This is why we have the ‘real’ six characters arriving and mocking at them later. The director wants Madam Pace to utter some lines loudly that are meant for her and she hesitates to do so, also because it is not within the norms of propriety. However the stage manager insists that she must do so, else the audience cannot hear her. This again illustrates that the characters do not speak for themselves but for the audience to hear.…

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