Ghosts Questions and Answers by Henrik Ibsen
[Q. Write a note on the appropriateness of the title ‘Ghosts’, a play by Henrik Ibsen.
Or, How far the title ‘ghosts’ seems to be appropriately used in the play ‘Ghosts’?]
The word ‘ghosts’ osts’ means the spirit of a person who is dead, but seems to appears before a living and moving. Of course, this appearance is nothing but an illusion. But a good many persons are found to have the belief in the existence of ghosts.
Ibsen is found to have used the title Ghosts in his play published after A Dolls House. se. But he does not introduce the word ‘ghosts’ in the popular supernatural sense in this play. The ghost used as a title is something much intricate and in philosophicalni sense.
Ibsen’s story of Ghosts in the play deals not with dead men appearing before the living. On the other hand in his play, the term ghost deals mainly with death or thems persons and their way of living no more existing. In fact, dead or past matter s constitute the essential part of the significance of the title. In fact, the metaphorical b ghosts of the past are more prominently treated or presented in the play. Many to characters have secrets of dark pasts that haunt’ them even to present or arest pasts of their families.
The play ‘Ghosts’ is primarily a tragic one. This tragic note of the play revolves in round the central female character of the play, Mrs. Alving. Mr. Alving, her husbanden is a debauch. Though rich and aristocratic and apparently honourable, he is actually un a person of low of low character and prone to all sorts of vices and immorality. His wife Mrs.26 Helene Alving, disgusted with him, left her within a year, although she returned after ist a year and li lived with him till his death. But she never has any favourable opinion about him. In fact, she despises her late husband althrough for his decadence and 69 debauchery. She agreed to do her duty as a wife and so returned to him. From herdw sense of duty she tries to keep her husband’s reputation. She even tries to found anx orphanage as a memorial to her dead husband and thereby to retain her as a good M man. However, she is forced to tell her son Osvald all the truth about her husband, he when her son thinks that his syphilis is his own fault. She points out to him that this onl is not true. This is actually inherited. She indicates, a good many time, how the evils r done by her husband parasited in her son and so looks upon the same as the ghosts ne of the past. Indeed, Helene Alving told Pastor Manders that she saw ghosts while listening to the conversation between Osvald and Regina. These ghosts are nothing ins but the “Old, long dead ideas, all kinds of old, long, dead belief that “cling’ to everyone. The past of the characters haunts their present in the form of “Ghosts” to sw plague them and keep them away from the joy.
Mrs. Alving sadly perceive the re-emergence the past in the present situations! time and again. Indeed, the title of the play reinforces the main theme of play- clash between moral courage and convention. It is significantly, though somewhat mystically chosen.
2. Q. Bring out the theme of the play “Ghosts” by Ibsen’Ghosts’.]
Or, Critically examine the thematic matters constituting the play.
Ibsen’s ‘Ghosts is one his most successful plays. depriving him from the Nobel prize in Literature. The play was found too gross, enigmatic and negative by the Swedish Academy. As the prize, according to the laid standard, must be given only to a literary work of an idealistic height. Unfortunately Ibsen’s “The Ghosts” though a great play, is thematically gross, loose and unholy, according to the strict Christian standard.
The central theme of the play ‘Ghosts is found concerned with matters that indicates only the moral weakness of human life- debauchery, deception, lies and hypocrisy.
The central theme of the play ‘Ghosts’ is the unfortunate effect of keeping secret and conceiling truth, and the return of the ghosts of the past. Mrs. Alving’s continuous attempt is to construct a myth about the nature of her husband who is actually a demoralized debauch. Though she herself felt compelled to leave him for the looseness of his character, she returned to him for the sake of his duty as a wife within a year. Her plea was to serve her duty due to him as a loyal wife. Though she hated her husband and disliked his nature and conduct, she made a show of her admiration for him as long as he remained alive. Even after his death, her show for his virtuous nature remains and she goes even to find an orphanage age as a memorial for her husband. Infact, her extreme hatred for her husband is kept hidden and replaced by a showy regard and admiration. This is definitely something negative and not morally fair. This is an important aspect of the theme of the play.
This is not the only theme of the play. Lies and hypocrisy found in Mrs. Alving and Pastor constitute no less the theme of the play. Bland lies are spoken out to cover what is actually wrong and deceptive. In this respect the hypocrisy of the Pastor is extreme. His extreme hypocrisy dooms both the person he professes to care aboutMrs. Alving and eventually himself, for as he endeavors to save his reputation, he ends up by giving support to devilish trickster and thorough scoundrel Jakob Engstrand. In fact, Pastor Manders cares more about his reputation than actual people, leading him to become blind in face of actual malevolence and manipulation- Engstrandand to excriate examples of an authentic and loving way of life- Osvald in Paris.
Again, reputation, rather the preservation of reputation, as found in Mrs. Alving and Manders, no less form a part of the theme of the play. Both of them maintain a web of hypocrises and lies to become reputate before others. Mrs. Alving does not want to step out of line in society even though she is unhappy, so she returns to a loveless marriage. Even after her husband behaves poorly, she seeks to burnish his reputation rather than revealing the truth, which leads to trouble for her son and for herself.
The theme of the play is especially found more manifested through the survival of the sins of the father in the child. This is both literally and figuratively true in the case of Osvald, whose collapse into moral dissolution clearly shows the same. Although this may not have anything to do with the transmission of the syphilis virus, the genetic strain is the symbol here. Osvald is really infected by generational immorality. This theme is manifested in a pervasive sense through Regina’s maternal duplication d and Manders’ almost paranoid fear of the potential of radicalism to “infect” traditional m views on morality and values.
Indeed, there is not the least doubt that generational degeneration from the most 49 interesting thematic aspect of the play. This aspect of of the theme offers, perhaps, an insight into Ibsen’s belief of the trend to generational degeneration and moral collapse in some family.
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