Henrik Ibsen Writing Styles in The Master Builder

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Realism and Expressionism

Ibsen combines elements of realism and expressionism in the play. Most of Ibsen's plays can be grouped into the realist movement, the dominant literary form in the latter part of the nineteenth century. In The Master Builder, however, Ibsen experiments with expressionism, a new movement that was coming into vogue. Realist and expressionist techniques merge in his characterizations. As Ibsen charts the rise and fall of master builder Halvard Solness, he takes a close look at cause-and-effect relationships. As in most realist works, the main character in Ibsen's play faces a moral choice, in this case whether or not to allow his ambition to run unchecked. When he decides that he will let nothing thwart his dream of rising to the top of his profession, he must face the destructive consequences. Ibsen presents a realistic depiction of the pain Solness's choice has caused not only his...

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This section contains 346 words
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Drama for Students
The Master Builder from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.