Introduction & Overview of Brand

This Study Guide consists of approximately 74 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Brand.
This section contains 314 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Brand Study Guide

Brand Summary & Study Guide Description

Brand Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading and a Free Quiz on Brand by Henrik Ibsen.

Henrik Ibsen's religious drama, Brand, caused a huge stir when it was first published in Scandinavia in 1866. Although it was well received in Denmark, it was highly debated in Norway, Ibsen's pious homeland. Ibsen wrote the play while on a self-imposed exile in Italy, which began in 1864. Although the play's sources of inspiration have been interpreted in many different ways, it is likely that the work—like Ibsen's exile—was a statement on Norway's failure to join with its Danish neighbors in preventing Germany from taking two of Denmark's duchies in 1864. The play was the first commercial and critical success of Ibsen's and paved the way for his future successes, starting with Peer Gynt, which he published a year after Brand. Both plays are verse dramas—plays written in the style of a poem—a more literary but less common type of modern drama.

Brand was a cathartic writing experience for Ibsen, who never intended the play to be staged. Like the inspiration for the play, the meaning in the work has also been interpreted in many different ways. The main character, Brand, is a pastor who holds himself and all of his followers, including his wife, to the rigid command of "Naught or All!" This essentially means that people must be willing to risk their lives and all earthly attachments if they wish to find eternal salvation. Brand is tested on this faith, and even though he falters a few times, he nevertheless goes the distance, sacrificing his mother, son, and wife in an attempt to adhere to his beliefs. The ambiguous ending has been interpreted in many contradictory ways, including that Brand's life is either meaningful or worthless. Although this is one of Ibsen's major works, it is currently out of print. Various translations can often be found in libraries. One such translation is the 1960 Doubleday edition, translated by Michael Meyer.

Read more from the Study Guide

This section contains 314 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Brand Study Guide
Copyrights
Drama for Students
Brand from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.