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An Enemy of the People Study Guide


An Opponent of the People is among Henrik Ibsen’s most popular as well as well-known plays amongst audiences as well as producers– however it is likewise one of Arthur Miller’s best-known presented works. This scenario results from the truth that Miller translated and also customized Ibsen’s work and also went on to present it a number of times; Miller’s version is generally the one discovered in book shops as well as is extra generally read and also examined (as a matter of fact, it is what this ClassicNote uses as its source).

Ibsen wrote the play in 1882, setting the activity in a little Norwegian seaside community. The plot was based upon the real-life admonishment he experienced as a result of his debatable play, Ghosts (1881 ). It was initially 5 acts long. His plays were recognized for their rationalist design and also, as Miller put it, a structure that utilized “versions of a rigid economic situation of means to create tremendous symphonic images of tragic percentages.”

Miller first examined Ibsen’s operate in workshops at the College of Michigan. His own works, such as All My Children, were influenced by Ibsen, and also he quickly ended up being drawn in to the idea of developing his own variation of Opponent. He believed the play was a crucial bulwark in the fight versus fascism and also red-baiting of the late 1940s and early 1950s. He commissioned a translation from Lars Nordenson, trimmed the acts from five to three, and also simplified the language. He also made Stockmann a lot more heroic and one-dimensional, whereas the personality in Ibsen’s job evinces much more troublesome perspectives toward the commoner.

Miller’s version was first organized in New York City on December 28th, 1950. Unsurprisingly provided the political as well as social environment at the time, it was reasonably unsuccessful as well as shut after 36 shows. Some doubters lauded Miller’s variation– the New York City Times called it “a large improvement on the original”– however, more often than not, testimonials were blended or unfavorable. One movie critic ironically called it a job of “agitational publicity.”

3 movies of Miller’s version have actually been done to day: one in 1966; one in 1976; and also one in 1990. Movie critics were still divided relating to all three, some calling the play dated with others waxing poetic about just how relevant it was.

The play is not preferred among movie critics and scholars, however is popularly cherished.

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