The Idea Of Women In Henrik Ibsen's 'Ghosts'

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Henrik Ibsen has written many significant plays about women in the 19th century. One of his most significant works is “Ghosts”. The play “Ghosts” talks about women and the idea of “duty”. The play talks about the idea of the “duty” of women as mothers and wives. The play also talks about how society in the 19th century are the ones that identifies the meaning of “duty” therefore they put women in a mold that they have to follow. The following scene is in act three. This scene takes place at the Alving’s house when Oswald came back after the Orphanage was burnt. In this scene, Oswald knows that he is going to die from a disease that he inherited from his father and has no hands in it and this makes him lose hope and interest in life. This is seen when Oswald says about Engstrand’s home to Mrs.Alving “It’ll burn just like this one/ Everything will burn. There is nothing left to remind people of Father. I, too, am burning.”(Ibsen 63).In this quotation, it is seen how Oswald was trying to save his father’s image by trying to save the orphanage and he failed to do so. He was trying to save the only thing which was left of his father and the only thing which people will remember his father by. Also, Oswald feels that he is falling apart and “burning” inside just as the orphanage, this makes Oswald identifies with the orphanage and it reflects how Oswald feels. Oswald also feels that he will not live to remind people of his father. This foreshadows the tragic
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