Ibsen’s major poetic dramas, Brand and Peer Gynt, were born of indignation. Denmark’s humiliating defeat at the hands of the Prussians in 1864, and Norway’s failure to offer any assistance to the Danes in their hour of need, filled Ibsen with a deep sense of outrage (compounded perhaps by feelings of guilt at his own personal failure to offer any tangible assistance to his fellow Scandinavians). This smouldering outrage, contrasting with the relative peace and calm of Rome, proved to be a fertile seed bed for his two dramatic poems exploring the nature of human will-power, commitment and freedom.
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