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The Wild Duck (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – 1 Feb 2000


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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc. (1 Feb. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486411168
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486411163
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 13.3 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 504,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


Product Description

About the Author

Only Shakespeare's plays are performed more frequently than those of Henrik Ibsen (1828–1906). The Norwegian playwright, theater director, and poet scandalized many of his contemporaries as he led the theater into the modern era by exploring the realities behind 19th-century social conventions.

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Oct. 2002
Format: Paperback
Ibsen invites us to take a good look at the foundations of our lives through the themes expressed by him in the text of The Wild Duck. The themes expressed through the play are still as relevant today as they were during Isben's era, which is why this play continues to be read today, as it rightly should. Can we all lead idealistic lives or do most of us require the absence of truth from our lives to be able to enjoy life? The playwright brings out all this and numerous other questions pertaining to the issue of truth and deception to the audience. The thematic techniques employed by the playwright are those which all of us can appreciate. The Wild Duck is a wonderfully entertaining play and a pleasure to read to which we can all relate and I would say that it indeed confirms Ibsen as the father of modern theatre.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Nov. 2005
Format: Paperback
I don't usually like to read plays but this one by Henrik Ibsen is brilliant. Once started, I had to finish, which is easy because it is quite short.
A thought-provoking play with believable characters.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The Wild Duck We Know 12 Sept. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Many find Ibsen difficult to understand. I certainly did. However, by reading The Wild Duck, I was introduced to an entire new world of symbolism and creative writing. Like the master he was, Ibsen paints a portrait of a family, representing all of us, living on a lie. Cruelty in our midst, innocent victimes and pragmatists losing to the vindictive, it's all there. The touches of comedy and tragedy just increase the impression that it does concern us, that really, he's looked into our lives and seen our lies, although hopefully in a less extreme version. And don't we all know a Hedvig, a Gina, a Hjalmar and a Gregers? Maybe there's something of the all in all of us... The book sucks you in, creeps under your skin and stays there, along with the horror, the anger and the sympathy you feel while reading. In my opinion, one of the best examples of Ibsen's less romantic period of writing.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Must people tell themselves lies in order to live? 1 Nov. 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Ekdals - Hjalmar, his wife Gina, and their daughter Hedvig live a decent life. It has it's frustrations but they get by and they care for each other. One day an old friend of Hjalmar's, Gregers Werle, shows up. He's learned some family history, and, being an idealist, as someone who thinks truth should reign at all costs, he turns the Ekdal's world upside-down. How this little family deals with this news is the crux of the play.

It's a provacative read. It may seem slow at first but it picks up considerably and moves along swiftly towards the end. The characters are well drawn, that is, they're recognizable. They have their personal idiosyncrasies, their faults and virtues and ideals. I was impressed by how much they reminded me of people in my own life.

There are many ideas to play with when reading this. Is it possible to live a life completely free of self-delusion? Do we all tell ourselves lies in order to live? I would call it a play of ideas but that might make it sound didactic or doctrinaire, which it isn't (to me anyway, I think some people disagree).

I've read a fair sample of Ibsens work and I think this is the best of the bunch.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
is there a hialmar ekdal fan club? 6 Dec. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Ibsen's philosophical "message" in this play disturbs me. I don't think I agree with Dr. Relling that each of us needs his own brand of self-deception to cope with life. Certainly Hialmar Ekdal is content enough, and hilariously funny as an lazy fool who thinks he's a creative genius in photograhy, a breadwinner to his wife and daughter, and a martyr to his father's scandalous past. Alas, his friend Gregers Werl points the way to the truth, that Hialmar is deceived about everything in his life. It would all be comical but for the fact that Hialmar's daugher Hedvig, who is probably not his daugther at all, shoots herself as proof of her love for Hialmar. So, Ibsen seems to say, here the truth has cost a young girl's life, an unbearable tragedy but for the fact that she was going blind. Well, no doubt there is cost in knowing the truth about oneself and about others, no doubt there are things we prefer not to know, and no doubt there are people like Hialmar who are impervious to truth. But there are also people like Hialmar's wife Gina, and Dr. Relling himself, who know the truth and who hold up nobly and well. For at least these, I think Ibsen should recommend truth in large doses, and perhaps he does.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
There are so many layers in this tragic play! 11 Jun. 2006
By S. Schwartz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a very complex play although it seems simplistic at first. There were a lot of changes going on in society when Ibsen wrote this play in 1884 And not everyone was adapting to these changes. Some still tried to cling to the old way of doing things, and others were trying to force changes within their own sphere. (Is that so different than now?) Anyway, Ibsen portrays these varying degrees of acceptance with his characters in this play. And he does a masterful job of it. How can so much be depicted about the heartache and pathos of the human psyche within the limits of a five-act play? That is Ibsen/s genius.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Wild Duck ENG 241 25 Oct. 2011
By Alassandra - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Many find Ibsen difficult to understand. I certainly did. However, by reading The Wild Duck, I was introduced to an entire new world of symbolism and creative writing. Like the master he was, Ibsen paints a portrait of a family, representing all of us, living on a lie. Cruelty in our midst, innocent victims and pragmatists losing to the vindictive, it's all there. The touches of comedy and tragedy just increase the impression that it does concern us. And don't we all know a Hedvig, a Gina, a Hialmar and a Gregers? Maybe there's something of that in all of us. The book drew me in, it crept under my skin and stayed there, along with the horror, the anger and the sympathy I felt like I was in their world while reading.
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