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The Master Builder Henrik Ibsen

The Master Builder

Henrik Ibsen

Kindle Edition
141 pages
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 About the Book 

So this was third up on my Read more classic plays adventure I assigned myself at the beginning of the year. And by a mile, this was my favorite of the three. I love Ibsens voice and his dynamic characters. I cannot believe that it has taken me this long to read Ibsen, since anytime one studies theatre, his works are always listed among the classics. This play centers around Halvard Solness, a master builder who is just starting to come down from his career peak. Solness is a modern romantic and I could tell almost immediately that he loves to live in that place where ideals, dreams, and fantasies do not yet touch reality. Almost as if he is the hero in a theatrical production of his own life, and he does everything he can to make the story progress the way he believes it should. The way a play about a hero should progress. He loves to get caught up in whims and romantic ideals, but doesnt pay much credence to how they actually play out in real life. He flirts with his young bookkeeper, but then doesnt know what to do when she begins to love him. He doesnt love her back, but loves the whole idea of her being in love with him, that he continues the charade. This is just one example of many. He longs to reconnect with his wife who suffered a major tragedy that has impacted her life and their marriage immensely. He believes so fiercely that if he builds her a new house that is exactly like the one she grew up in, she will instantly be cured of all her ills, and then can go back to how they were before.At first, I didnt like Solnesss character and found him too idealistic, but as the plot begins to peel away layers of his character, I started to become invested in his story. Ibsen does an amazing job of creating a believable antihero who chooses not to accept reality, and it is at times a very emotional story. When the story of what happened between him and his wife started to unfold, I was really affected by it, and hungrily read the last half of the play wanting desperately to know the outcome. I think I always knew how the play would end, but it doesnt change the fact, that I yearned for it to be different. I think I took half a star away because it was just so sad. Like the protagonist, I wanted to escape reality for the ending that I knew wouldnt fit in with the theme of the play. But ultimately, I enjoyed this one a lot and would love to see it performed live.3.5 stars