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The Lady from the Sea - A Drama in Five Acts

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  855 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
Originally published in 1890, this early drama has been translated from Norwegian by Clara Bell. The action takes place in the summer season, at a small town on a fiord on the north coast of Norway. Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900's and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic work ...more
Paperback, 122 pages
Published May 27th 2009 by Vintage Dog Books (first published 1888)
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I enjoyed this play, something mysterious about it; not a mystery, just a somewhat strange story line that is less about the sea than you might think from the title. Ibsen's characters were beautifully conceived, probably the best thing about the play, and the ending has a bit of a twist.
Another very enjoyable play from Ibsen. I love his work. He has the ability to enfold a moral truth in a compelling story like a beautiful multi-coloured and multi-textured fabric hiding and protecting a precious gem. One can feast on the beauty of the wrapping while anticipating the surprise within.

I listened to a superb dramatic presentation by Librivox volunteers. Less than three hours of listening pleasure. Surely you can spare that much time? It is worth every minute!
David Sarkies
Mar 19, 2015 David Sarkies rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like romance
Recommended to David by: My English Teacher
Shelves: romance
A lost love returns
15 March 2015

Okay, I have mentioned before that reading a play can be somewhat more difficult that watching it performed; one of the reasons being that sometimes it is difficult to differentiate the characters. However, after being forced to put this play down after reading the first act because I had to go to work (and unfortunately I don't work in a job where I can put my feet up on a desk and read a book while video cameras monitor the outside of a warehouse making sure th
Dem Irrtum erlegen, "Die Frau vom Meer" gehöre zu den Dramen, die ich noch nicht von Henrik Ibsen gelesen habe, stieß ich bald auf die ersten Unterstreichungen, die ich vor fünfzehn Jahren vorgenommen haben muss. Aber selbst bis zur letzten Seite hin erkannte ich keine Szene und keine Charaktere wieder. Ein Umstand, der gegen dieses Werk spricht? - Nicht unbedingt!

Ellida Wangel, die besagte Frau vom Meer, kann meinem Empfinden nach der Nora aus "Ein Puppenheim" nicht annähernd das Wasser reichen
Elena Druță
Sep 22, 2015 Elena Druță rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
”Adio doamnă; de acum încolo, ești doar un naufragiu în viața mea.”

Femeia mării mi-a lăsat o umbră de melancolie în gând; tristețea se ascunde undeva în cuvintele marinarului pierdut în valurile vieții.
Available at BBC Radio 3.

A new version of Ibsen's late drama, adapted for radio by Frank McGuinness.
Before her marriage to Dr Wangel, Ellida, his second wife, had promised herself to a sailor who then disappeared. Years later, Ellida's family life is strained. Her relations with her step-daughters is poor; she has no child of her own. She seems unhappy with her life. Then the sailor reappears to make his claim on her promise. Faced with the decision of what to do, she persuades her husband that
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Everett Darling
Aug 30, 2011 Everett Darling rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Regarding Ibsen, Maugham said it best. Although the quote is lost to me now, it goes something like this- So Ibsen spent a really long time writing plays, he was always wracked for plot ideas, until at last would fall back on the same plot he had used time and time before-some people are together, one has a secret, someone from the past comes down from the north, secret is exposed...doom and depression. I do actually adore Ibsen, but I cant refute Maughams shrewd assesment. As an Ibsen fan, this ...more
Apr 20, 2015 Dawn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, read-2015
I came to the end of this play and thought it seemed to be based on the premise of If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they're yours; if they don't they never were.
While I didn’t really care for the long ago lover part of the story, I did think that the family dynamics were a little interesting. A stepmother who hasn’t managed to fit into the family in any way, a father who doesn’t see, or want to see, the problems and daughters who still mourn their mother are all brought toge
Sliced Rhetorica
My second play of Ibsen's.
I thought I had really liked the first one 'A Doll's House' until I read this one. This definitely beats that one for me.

So enchanting!
He had such a strong stance when it came to women's causes and their upliftment. This portrays that beautifully.
All the men in this play are egotistical a-holes. The women are free-spirited and inspiring.
Fascinating read!
Review to come soon!
Mike Jensen
The plot depends too much on coincidence to be satisfying and the subplot almost seems to come from nowhere. These flaws stall this play as it reaches for greatness, but it does reach and full credit for that. This is Ibsen’s first psychological story, but he has yet to master the form. The central conflict of a woman who needs her husband to let her go so that she can chose to leave him or keep him has a profound truth that the author will handle better in the future. Not a great play, but ther ...more
Cos'è la libertà? Ibsen: la possibilità di sentire sulla propria pelle il peso delle proprie scelte.
Mar 19, 2015 Ali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Something quite different about The Lady Of the Sea, compared to other Ibsen plays, is the honesty between the characters. Ellida and Dr.Wangel have been married for a number of years, but for the past 3, she has become depressed and distant. Dr.Wangel, who has 2 teenage daughters, assumes that she is bothered by his previous life: his beloved dead wife and his daughters' reluctance to accept her as a suitable replacement. What he doesn't know however is that Ellida had a love life of her own be ...more
Aug 08, 2014 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With The Lady from the Sea, we see two unusual marriages, both in the story and in the content of the play. In the story, there is the struggling marriage of Dr Wangel and Ellida, the two protagonists, set against an informal marriage she made with a stranger. There is also a rare moment in Ibsen where the characters find a marriage between duty/responsibility and happiness.

In content, there is a marriage of styles too. After writing a number of realistic prose plays, Ibsen seems to be once mor
Jan 23, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Lady from the Sea is oddly humorous to me, mainly because it sets itself up to be so serious, but has a bit of an ending that makes me think, "....oh.". The plot concerns a woman who thinks that her children may have a different father than her husband because of their eye colors. she is led to believe this because she keeps remembering a sailor she had a fling with and the color of his eyes. She decides that she's going to leave her family and run away with the sailor, but it turns out that ...more
Adrian Colesberry
Apr 12, 2009 Adrian Colesberry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went on a tear on 2007 and read all of Henrik Ibsen and all of August Strindberg. Before I could get to all of Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, I had to turn back to writing, and I can't read while I write. Ibsen is wonderful. The thing I like most about Ibsen is that he loves and respects women at least in his writing. Not all of his plays are tragedies either. Many are very funny and many have mixed endings, not all are downers.
Though I'm not a big fan of Peer Gynt. Strindberg's parody of Peer Gyn
Aug 05, 2015 Winter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-read
One of his lesser known plays, but also a very good one. It's fun when you can say about an old play written in old norwegian, almost danish, that you got dragged in and had a hard time putting it down!

I liked the ending too.
Mike Jensen
May 26, 2015 Mike Jensen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a difference a translator makes. This version by Frank McGuinness moves this play from three star territory to five. A creaky play now seems vital.
Feb 23, 2016 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-owned
The ultimately uplifting message of this drama is that when given the true freedom to make decisions in our lives--that is to say, independent of social pressures--we often make the correct decisions, even if we must adapt to meet less-than-perfect conditions resulting from those choices. Ibsen does a clever bait-and-switch when he immediately introduces the "dying mermaid" symbol in Act One. We get the feeling that he is foreshadowing Ellida's fate. With the subplot of the love triangle among B ...more
Tamara Damjanovic
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Lady from the Sea by Henrik Ibsen

In Le Goût des autres the hero is Castella. This Is an exceptional comedy, where on one side we have actors, who know about Ibsen and on the other- Castella who thinks Ibsen is an author of comedies with (perhaps) The Three Stooges.
Unfortunately, I am more in the same vein with Castella when it comes to Ibsen.
Castella is the butt of jokes, one involving his total ignorance of the playwright. I know about Ibsen, but I am tone death to the majesty, the beauty o
Klara Woodson
"È davvero divertente quello che sta succedendo in questa stagione! Non si vedono che coppie! La gente cammina solo per due..."

Ho terminato "La donna del mare" di Ibsen. Di questo importante e famosissimo scrittore avevo già letto "Casa di Bambola", e per molti aspetti i due libri sono molto simili. Una donna che vive in una condizione di rassegnata sottomissione ad un marito buono ma distante, più vicino ad un padre che vizia piuttosto che ad un compagno con cui sentirsi alla pari. In entrambe
Jc Er
Dec 25, 2014 Jc Er rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
t is true love and commitment that keep a marriage or partnership together. Once these essential ingredients disappear, even for one party, partnership will surely fail or worse, a loveless marriage persists for the long suffering couple. Marriage vows 'till death before parting' means jack squat when love is on the rocks. Ibsen in this play also pushed the idea that decisions made freely will lead to true enduring happiness. I believe Ibsen should have added more by stating decisions made freel ...more
Dec 08, 2013 Steven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, scandanavian
An Ibsen play with a happyish ending is a surprise and doesn't quite ring true with the torment and passion preceding it.
Chiek Er
Dec 25, 2014 Chiek Er rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vows do not bind partners together, unless the were vows of Brienne of Tarth or Edard Stark

It is true love and commitment keeps the marriage together. Once those two essential ingredients disappears, even for one party, marriage dissolves or worse, a loveless marriage continues. Marriage vows till death before parting means jack squat. Ibsen also pushed the idea that decisions made freely will lead to true freedom. I believe Ibsen should have added decisions made freely and wisely will then one
Dec 23, 2014 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ibsen with a happy ending - imagine that!
Aug 21, 2014 سارة rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
أنا سمعتها تقريباً 4مرات ومتأكدةاني هسمعها أكتر
Sep 19, 2011 gergana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Херцогинята не обичаше да съжалява за нищо и често повтаряше думите на съпруга си, покойният граф: Каква безочливост спрямо себе - да предположа, че сега съм по-умен, отколкото тогава, когато съм взел решение" - да ме прощава Стендал, че го цитирам толкова дървено и неточно, но тази реплика винаги ми идва на място, когато чета нещо, до което от отдавна съм се домогвала, така да се каже. Вкусовете и мненията ми за вече прочетени книги и автори твърде малко се променят през годините. Само донякъд ...more
Reza speed
Dec 19, 2012 Reza speed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

این نمایشنامه در مورد زنی است به نام الیدا .اليدا روحي سركش و وحشي دارد كه در يك ديدار ناگهاني، گرفتار يك عشق آتشين شده و نمي تواند خود را از اين عشق برهاند. مرد غريبه در آييني، حلقهي خود و اليدا را به زنجير كشيده و به دريا سپرده است. مدتي بعد خبر مرگ غريبه به اليدا ميرسد و اليدا با دكتر وانگل كه همسر خود را از دست داده، ازدواج ميكند به اين اميد كه خاطره و كشش وحشتناك آن عشق آتشين فراموش شود اما اين اتفاق نميافتد و اليدا هرگز نمي تواند زندگي شاد و سرزندهاي را از سر بگيرد. اين زندگي با آمدن غريبه
May 01, 2007 علی rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
یک نمایش نامه ی ساده و خوش ساخت و نه چندان مشهور ایبسن که پایانی نسبتن خوش و کاملن متفاوت با آثار دیگرش دارد.
این نمایش نامه تا آنجا که اطلاع دارم به فارسی برگردانده نشده است.

آثار نمایشی هنریک ایبسن مانند زندگی اش پر از فراز و نشیب اند. برخی منتقدان او را به راستی ستوده اند و برخی هرگز آثارش را نپسندیدند. ایبسن به معنایی که دکتر امیر حسین آریانپور در کتاب "ایبسن آشوب گرای" نوشته، چه در زندگی و چه در آثارش یک آنارشیست جلوه می کند. با وجودی که گفته اند از شکسپیر به این سو دوران تراژدی بسر آمده، برخ
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Henrik Johan Ibsen was a major Norwegian playwright largely responsible for the rise of modern realistic drama. He is often referred to as the "father of modern drama." Ibsen is held to be the greatest of Norwegian authors and one of the most important playwrights of all time, celebrated as a national symbol by Norwegians.

His plays were considered scandalous to many of his era, when Victorian valu
More about Henrik Ibsen...

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