Ibsen’s Theatre of Ritualistic Visions

An Interdisciplinary Study of Ten Plays

by Trausti Olafsson (Author)
©2008 Monographs 318 Pages
Series: Stage and Screen Studies, Volume 12


This book examines the ritualistic and mythological features derived from various religious traditions depicted in ten Ibsen plays. The worshipping of the Great Mother, the Mysteries of Eleusis, the Hebrew Passover Meal and Yom Kippur, alongside with the most sacred feasts of Christianity, are identified in Ibsen’s texts in a way not discovered before. The outcome is a fascinating voyage through a landscape of ritualistic visions. Throughout the book the author illustrates how the plays contribute to the revival of the sacred in modernist theatre. Each chapter of the book contains a synopsis of the play interpreted, followed by a detailed analysis, which focuses on religious concepts and mythological elements incorporated in Ibsen’s texts.


ISBN (Softcover)
Ritual Drama Ibsen, Henrik Religion (Motiv) Ritual (Motiv) Mythos (Motiv) Mythology Gnosticism Theurgy
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2008. 318 pp., 10 ill.

Biographical notes

Trausti Olafsson (Author)

The Author: Trausti Ólafsson was born in southern Iceland and educated in Prague, Reykjavík, Oslo, and in Norwich, England. At the University of East Anglia he wrote his thesis on Ibsen, on which this book is based. He has worked as a theatre director, and was the Artistic Director for Akureyri Theatre Company in Iceland for three years. Trausti currently teaches dramatic literature and theatre theory at the University of Iceland, Reykjavík, and is a Psychodrama Psychotherapist in private practice.


Title: Ibsen’s Theatre of Ritualistic Visions