The Issues of Class and Gender in the play of Ghosts

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topic question: Discuss some of the ways in which plays challenge boundaries of race/ethnicity, class, and/or gender. In your answer make detailed reference to one or move plays you have studied.

Ghosts, by Henrik Ibsen, is a realist drama written in 19th century Norway. The social context of this time meant his play was seen as a radial piece and theaters often refused to play it, afraid of backlash from the conservative Lutheran community. This is due to the boundaries of class and gender which are constantly challenged throughout this play, in both a historical and modern context. In respect to class, this is achieved primarily through the use of characterization and a fundamental theme of deceit, which highlights the juxtaposition between different classes. In terms of gender, the challenging of traditional roles is created due to the confronting nature of many events depicted in this novel, particularly those surrounding euthanasia and character of Mrs.

Alving. This is a prime example of how the challenged boundaries can be easily related to modern times as euthanasia is a controversial modern issue. This modern context once again helps to cement the ways in which boundaries are challenged constantly by Ibsen in his work. However, the issues of class mentioned in this drama relate directly towards the context of Ghosts.

Regina is a fundamental character used by Ibsen to challenge the gender boundaries of his authorial context. In 18th century Norway, women held a significantly lower position in the societal hierarchy. The influence of the conservative Lutheran Church meant that they were primarily the property of the husband, and motherhood was seen as the epitome of their existence. Martin Luther, the pioneer of the Lutheran Church, split from the Catholic Church, and has been quoted as saying "If a woman grows weary...