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The Master Builder (Drama Classics) Paperback – 12 Jun 1997


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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Nick Hern Books; New edition edition (12 Jun 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 185459351X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1854593511
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 0.7 x 16 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,125,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

The Plays for Performance series is edited by Nicholas Rudall, former artistic director of the Court Theatre at the University of Chicago where he is professor of classics, and Bernard Sahlins, founder and director of the Second City. They both live in Chicago, Illinois. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 Sep 2005
Format: Paperback
Written in 1892, when Ibsen was a mature playwright, this tension-filled play focuses on an older man's fear that he will be replaced by the younger generation before he has been able to reconcile his professional success with his personal sacrifices. Halvard Solness is a Master Builder who once built churches and towers but who now builds only houses. Arrogant, manipulative, and often paranoid, there is little he will not do to control outcomes.
When Hilde Wangel suddenly knocks on his door, the younger generation arrives. Exuberant and flirtatious, Hilde reminds Halvard that exactly ten years ago, when she was the twelve-year-old daughter of a client, he called her his little princess and promised to buy her a kingdom. Ingratiating herself with Halvard, Hilde listens as he unburdens himself of his accumulated guilt, his fear of godly retribution, and his simultaneous belief that he is one of the "special people" who can bring his desires to fruition through the summoning of demons, "called 'luck' by others." Hilde, believing she can free him creatively, urges the acrophobic Halvard to place a wreath at the top of the tower on the house he has built for his wife--a symbolic celebration of a new kind of life through Hilde, building castles in the air.
The characters, though full of passion, are not always realistic. Their psychological grounding seems uncertain, and their behavior does not seem to flow out of a sense of personal unity. Halvard believes that certain people can make direct connections with him and read his mind. He also believes that that his success has occurred because years ago he made a bargain with demons which resulted in the loss of everything he and his wife held dear--he is successful, but guilty.
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By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 26 Jan 2009
Format: Paperback
Written in 1892, when Ibsen was a mature playwright, this tension-filled play focuses on an older man's fear that he will be replaced by the younger generation before he has been able to reconcile his professional success with his personal sacrifices. Halvard Solness is a Master Builder who once built churches and towers but who now builds only houses. Arrogant, manipulative, and often paranoid, there is little he will not do to control outcomes.

When Hilde Wangel suddenly knocks on his door, the younger generation arrives. Exuberant and flirtatious, Hilde reminds Halvard that exactly ten years ago, when she was the twelve-year-old daughter of a client, he called her his little princess and promised to buy her a kingdom. Ingratiating herself with Halvard, Hilde listens as he reveals his accumulated guilt, his fear of godly retribution, and his simultaneous belief that he is one of the "special people" who can bring his desires to fruition through the summoning of demons, "called 'luck' by others."

The characters, though full of passion, are not always realistic. Their psychological grounding seems uncertain, and their behavior does not seem to flow out of a sense of personal unity. Halvard believes that certain people can make direct connections with him and read his mind. He also believes that that his success has occurred because years ago he made a bargain with demons which resulted in the loss of everything he and his wife held dear-he is successful, but guilty. Though he has rejected religion, he is tormented by the need for retribution. Hilde, for her part, became obsessed with Halvard at the age of twelve, and she believes that now, after ten years, they can build castles together.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well worth having in Kindle library. Studied and acted in this play while at drama college. I enjoy reading Ibsen's plays.
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