Henrik Ibsen
The Vikings of Hel­ge­land

The Vikings of Helgeland

Henrik Ibsen (20th March, 1828 – 23rd May, 1906) is often referred to as the father of realism and ranked just below Shakespeare as Europe’s greatest ever playwright especially as his plays are performed most frequently throughout the world after Shakespeare’s. He was Norwegian and although set his plays in Norway, he wrote them in Danish and lived most of his professional life in Italy and Germany. His affect on the theatre is still evident today and shapes the distinction of plays being art as opposed to entertainment since he broke down all previous traditions and explored issues, developed characterisation, revealed uncomfortable truths, challenged assumptions and brokedown facades in ourselves as well as society. These factors are clearly demonstrated in The Vikings of Helgeland, another of Ibsen’s historical tragedies. The play takes place in the tenth century, during the time of Erik Blood-Axe in northern Norway when the country was becoming Christian and the influence of the Old Norse Sagas was diminishing. Ornulf and his seven sons are seeking their abducted sisters but tragedy awaits them in Ibsen’s fine play.
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