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Henrik Ibsen - Poet and Dramatist



March 20, 1828, Skien, Norway


May 23, 1906

Early Influences:

  • Born into wealthy family
  • Father's bankruptcy in 1836 led family to relative poverty
  • Was troubled by the aftermath of the revolution in 1848
  • Was on his own at the age of 15 and became a druggists' apprentice


  • Became a druggists' apprentice at age 15
  • Failed the Greek and arithmetic parts of the entrance exam at the University of Christiana in 1850
  • Efforts at playwriting brought him an appointment as co-director and author for the Norwegian Theatre in Bergen where he learned a lot about the theatre
  • Saw first Shakespearean play in 1852

Major Accomplishments:

  • Peer Gynt (1867)
  • A Doll's House (1879)
  • Hedda Gabler (1890)


  • Called the 'Father of Modern Drama'
  • Works are unique because they all are written around a central theme: the individual's search for meaning
  • Used realistic ideas and themes throughout his works


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