Henrik Ibsen

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	Henrik Ibsen was born in the Stockman Building in Skien, Norway. He spent part of his childhood on Venstøp Farm after his father went bankrupt. In 1843, he was apprenticed to a chemist in Grimstad. That was when he began writing satire and elegant poems in the style of the time. He wrote his first play in 1849, a five-act tragedy in verse, Catiline, which was published in 1850 under the pseudonym Brynjolf Bjarme. The Warrior's Barrow was written and performed in 1850, as the first of Ibsen's plays to reach the stage. However, it was not published until much later. Ibsen lived in Christiania (now Oslo) from 1850 to 1851 to complete his upper secondary education. From 1851 to 1857, Ibsen was playwright in residence and director of the theatre in Bergen.

	While there, he wrote St. John’s Night (written in 1852), Lady Inger of Osteraad (written in 1854, published in 1857), The Feast at Solhaug (written in 1855, published in 1856), and Olaf Liljekrans (written in 1856). All these plays were inspired by folk songs, folklore or history, all of which are leitmotifs that run through Ibsen’s works. Ibsen became creative director of The Norwegian Theater in Christiania in 1858. The next year, he wrote the historical play The Vikings at Helgeland. The Pretenders was written in 1863. Beside Bjornstjerne Bjornson’s Sigurd Slembe, The Pretenders is considered the main work of historical fiction produced during this era. Henrik Ibsen married Suzannah Thoresen (1836-1914) in 1858. Soon after, he wrote the poem "On the Heights"(1859) and the play Love’s Comedy (1863). The years in Christiania were difficult for Ibsen. He was given a means of escape when a group of his friends, headed by Bjornstjerne Bjornson, collected enoughmoney for him to move to Italy in 1864. Shortly after moving, Ibsen began a major drama about Julian, but he did not complete the work until 1873, when it was published as Emperor and Galilean. The Epic Brand, a major epic-lyric poem, led to the lyric drama Brand (1866), Ibsen’s first real success as a writer. His next major work followed close on the heels of this success when he penned Peer Gynt in 1867.

	Ibsen moved to Dresden in 1868, then to Munich in 1875. In 1869, he wrote the comedy The League of Youth. The realistic style used to stage the drama Pillars of Society (1877) focused on various problems of the day.
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