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An Enemy of the People



Original Norwegian title: En folkefiende

Translated by R. Farquharson Sharp.

Written in response to the public outcry against Ibsen's play Ghosts (1881), which at that time was considered scandalous. Ghosts had challenged the hypocrisy of Victorian morality and was deemed indecent for its veiled references to syphilis.


Dr. Thomas Stockmann, Medical Officer of the Municipal Baths.
Mrs. Stockmann, his wife.
Petra (their daughter) a teacher.
Ejlif & Morten (their sons, aged 13 and 10 respectively).
Peter Stockmann (the Doctor's elder brother), Mayor of the Town and Chief Constable, Chairman of the Baths' Committee, etc. Morten Kiil, a tanner (Mrs. Stockmann's adoptive father).
Hovstad, editor of the "People's Messenger."
Billing, sub-editor.
Captain Horster.
Aslaksen, a printer.
Men of various conditions and occupations, a few women, and a troop of schoolboys--the audience at a public meeting.

The action takes place in a coastal town in southern Norway.

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A play with a great idea

Muslims don't commit suicide. That was the belief which people hardly could change. Three years ago, many young people committed suicide in my country, Saudi Arabia. Those suicides were due to different factors mostly psychological and drug-related ones. People denied the number of incidents and said that the press is exaggerating about it. Even the press started to stop publishing such things. However, the number increased till everyone started talking about it because the suicides started to take place in public areas. For example, a young man hanged himself on a bridge that is 500 meters away from my home. People started to video that with their mobiles and circulate it among them. Then, the government, the religious men, the doctors started to discuss the matter on a large scale and its causes. Thanks to Allah such things are rarely taking place now. I mentioned such a thing as a proof that Ibsen's idea about "the majority is not always right" is an outstanding idea. Ibsen's play, An Enemy to the People, has two themes. Firstly, it shows us how old believes and ideas can be sometimes harmful to us. Secondly, it depicts the lie we live in when we call ourselves "free thinkers" in private but once we are facing people, we retreat and deny it fearing society's rejection or people's sarcasm. Critics believe that Ibsen wrote this play after critics rejection of his previous plays "Ghosts and A Doll's House" which are both great ones. Ibsen did what his protagonist did as he put it " the strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone." He stood up and published his plays about society ills. I hope you people read the play and enjoy it.


can someone please tell me about the theme on truth of this play? :banana:

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