Henrik Ibsen a Biographical Research Report

Henrik Ibsen a Biographical Research Report

  • Submitted By: kc0tlh
  • Date Submitted: 11/24/2008 1:10 PM
  • Category: Biographies
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Henrik Ibsen – A Biographical Research Report

Henrik Johan Ibsen was born March 20’Th 1828 to upper middle class parents in Norway.[1] His mother was an avid painter and Ibsen wanted to become an artist from a very young age. However when his father’s business ventures folded his education was interrupted due to lack of money. Ibsen was angry because at this point all of his father’s friends abandoned them. [2]

Without any money for school there was nothing for it but to send young Ibsen to be apprenticed. He was interested in becoming a doctor so at the age of 15 he was apprenticed to a Pharmacist in Grimstad. Three years later he fathered an illegitimate child with a servant girl. Although he paid some child support he never met his son, who ended up as a poor blacksmith. He spent six years in Grimstad saving as much as possible the whole time and finally at the age of 21 he left for Christiana, the capitol of Norway. He wanted to go to university for Medicine so he enrolled in a “student factory” which is basically a Junior College that coaches students on the college entrance exams. Here he met Björnstjerne Björnson for the first time. Björnstjerne would later become his rival and fellow poet of Norway. Unfortunately he was found deficient in 2 subjects and therefore wasn’t accepted into the university. At this point Ibsen began writing plays. His first play, the tragedy “Catilina”, which he published under a pseudonym, was a flop and wasn’t performed at this time. His second play, “The Burial Mound”, was somewhat better received and was performed 3 times.

Ibsen was invited to speak at a fundraiser for Ole Bulls Norse theatre and he presented a poem glorifying Norway’s past. Ole Bull liked it so much that he appointed Ibsen Theatre Poet and Stage Manager. During this period Ibsen staged over 150 plays. Some people say he gained as much practical experience as Shakespeare. In addition to his directing he wrote 4 plays based on Norwegian...

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