Inter-personal relationships in the plays of Henrik Ibsen and Arthur Wing Pinero
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Henrik Ibsen is widely accepted as being one of the most important influences on the Modern Drama, while Arthur Wing Pinero, the most successful English playwright of the l880's, has been almost forgotten. Ibsen criticism has become repetitive, while criticism of Pinero's work is both superficial and sporadic. There is no comparative study of Ibsen with the English dramatists of the 1880's. The study of Inter-personal Relationships in the plays of Ibsen and Pinero not only provides further insight into the work of each, but also a starting point for just such a comparison. Part One involves a close textual analysis. For the purposes of this study, Inter-personal Relationships are divided into four main types: Familial, Inter-sexual, Friendship and Inter-class. Part One concludes that Convergence, the mutual union of individuals, predominates in Pinero, while Divergence is paramount in Ibsen. Part Two considers possible reasons for this dichotomy. Chapter Five focuses upon Human Nature as it is established in the plays. Chapter Six concentrates upon the dramatists' respective attitudes toward the Collective, the union of persons on the basis of common belief or purpose, and the Individual as apparent in the plays. The study of Inter-personal Relationships reveals the Ideals central to the work of each dramatist - Love in Pinero versus Truth and Freedom in Ibsen.