Emperor and Galilean: A World Historical Drama / Edition 1

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"This [play] will be my masterpiece," Ibsen declared.

Emperor and Galilean was published in 1873 when Ibsen was at the height of his creative powers. He saw it as the cornerstone of his entire dramatic output. He had completed the two great poetic dramas, Brand and Peer Gynt, and was about to embark on the cycle of twelve modern plays, beginning with Pillars of Society and concluding with When We Dead Awaken which were to establish his unrivaled international fame. While the plays of the Realist Cycle are well-known, Emperor and Galilean still awaits discovery by modern readers, actors and directors. The major Shakesperean scholar, G. Wilson Knight has written of the play, "It is certainly the greatest dramatic document of it's century...it is stageworthy...[It is} conceived dramatically, even theatrically...under a spectacular production the result could be triumphant."

Dramatizing the tragic career of Julian the Apostate, the play represents Western Civilization itself at a most crucial point. It is indispensable for understanding the later plays: themes, situations, and characters from Emperor and Galilean continually reappear in the modern realist plays.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The publisher continues its "Great Translations for Actors" series with this 1873 epic, from Ibsen's middle period, which Ibsen considered his masterpiece. The story of Emperor Julian the Apostate, this was his last play to have a classical setting, and it signaled his adoption of a more prosy and less poetic dialog. But it is still drama on a vast scale; written in two parts, with five acts in each part, it covers the years 351-363 C.E. Under Constantine, Prince Julian becomes emperor, turns against the austere piety of Christianity, and embraces the superstitions and passions of Hellenic paganism. The events lend themselves to some highly dramatic scenes, and Ibsen makes the most of them. His dialog reads smoothly in this skillful translation. The work is seldom performed (owing to its length), but the translator has provided the full text, leaving it up to a director to decide what to cut. Recommended for large theater arts collections.--Howard E. Miller, Rosary H.S. Lib., St. Louis Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781575251943
  • Publisher: Smith & Kraus, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.35 (w) x 8.44 (h) x 0.46 (d)

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