- The Pretenders (play)
The play opened at the old
Christiania Theatreon the 19th of January 1864 and evolves around the historical conflict between Norwegian King Håkon Håkonsson and his father-in-law; Earl Skule Bårdsson. It is one of Ibsen's lesser known plays.
"The Pretenders" was written in bursts during 1863, but Ibsen claims to have had sources and the idea back in 1858. A five-act play in prose set in the thirteenth-century, and the plot is commonly ascribed to the rivalry between Ibsen and Bjornson for a role something like that or our poet laureate.
Partial List of Characters
Earl Skule, The Pretender, a talented man hobbled by self-doubt who becomes King of Norway at the beginning of the play.
Jatgeir, a skald, a man who never reveals himself in public
Hakon Skule's main rival, becomes King on Skule's death
The Pretenders was lauded for presenting a nuanced psychoanalysis of male characters, just as Ibsen presented complicated female characters in
Hedda Gablerand Pillars of Society.
Robert Ferguson"Green in the Buttonhole, "The League of Youth", "Henrik Ibsen, A New Biography". Richard Cohen Books, London, 1996, 147-167.
References  Ferguson, Robert, "Green in the Buttonhole, "The League of Youth", "Henrik Ibsen, A New Biography". Richard Cohen Books, London, 1996, 152.
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