Among the masterpieces of world literature, this verse drama in five acts by the celebrated Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen jokingly but deeply explores the virtues, vices and folly common to all mankind – represented by Peer Gynt, a charming but irresponsible young peasant who lives by the principle of „make do as you know best“. Based on Norwegian folklore and Ibsen's imaginative inventions, the play follows the wanderings of the protagonist who finds wealth and fame – but not happiness – although he is ultimately saved by love.
At the beginning of the play, the young farmer goes to the wedding and meets Solveig, the woman who will eventually save him. However, the mischievous Peer then kidnaps the bride and leaves her in the wild. This dark performance is accompanied by a series of adventures (which do not affect Peer well) in many countries. After gruesome feats, the old and bitter Peer returns to Norway, finding solace in the arms of his faithful Solveig.
Peer Gynt, like other Ibsen's plays, is imbued with poetic mysticism and romanticism, and in Peer we find a rebellious central character in search of the ultimate truth that always seems out of reach. In this sense, Peer can be seen as an alter-ego of Ibsen himself, whose lifelong search for artistic and moral achievements resulted in great later performances on which his fame rests.
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The great Norwegian writer Henrik Ibsen (1828–1906) is undoubtedly the most influential European playwright of the second half of the 19th century, and in fact the entire period of the so-called civic theater. Born in a remote province, formed in unfavorable family conditions, without proper higher education, with extraordinary energy he worked his way through life and with great creativity managed to overcome all obstacles and impose himself on a universal scale as an exceptional personality and epochal phenomenon.
The play Peer Gynt (1867) is a special case and a real turning point in the writer's oeuvre. As G. B. Shaw wrote: „Peer is everyone’s hero. He acts on the imagination in the same way as Hamlet, Faust and Mozart's Don Juan did“, and many others reasonably brought him closer to the meaning of Don Quixote or Schweik. So it is our cultural obligation to have such a work always available in bookstores, libraries and for performance. Of course, it is not always possible to achieve the same clarity and flexibility of expression, and occasionally readers struggle with only assonant or impure rhymes (especially those of exclusively verb origin), but in the guise of lively rhythm and jumpy evocation many parts of the play get full echo. A stage check should be desired, during which certain roughnesses could also be smoothed out, and in this cover we get a work that belongs to the narrowest top of world literature, in a new pertinent reading.
- ISBN: 978-953-8075-78-0
- Dimensions: 138x195 mm
- Number of pages: 228
- Cover: hard cover
- Year of the edition: 2020
- Original title: Peer Gynt
- Original language: Norwegian
- Translation: Mišo Grundler