Henrik Ibsen, aka Henrik Johan Ibsen

Ibsen, aka Henrik Johan Ibsen

Norwegian Dramatic and Lyric Poet, Playwright and Theatre Director

Author Quotes

What ought a man to be Well, my short answer is himself.

You philosophers can reason black into white.

What sort of truths are they that the majority usually supports? They are truths that are of such advanced age that they are beginning to break up. And if a truth is as old as that, it is also in a fair way to become a lie, gentlemen.

You see, the point is that the strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone.

What we have inherited from our fathers and mothers is not all that 'walks in us.' There are all sorts of dead ideas and lifeless old beliefs. They have no tangibility, but they haunt us all the same and we cannot get rid of them. Whenever I take up a newspaper I seem to see Ghosts gliding between the lines. Ghosts must be all over the country, as thick as the sands of the sea.

You see, there are some people that one loves, and others that perhaps one would rather be with.

What's to become of the morally sound? Left out in the cold, I suppose. We must heal the sick.

You should never have your best trousers on when you turn out to fight for freedom and truth.

When I lost you, it was as if all the solid ground went from under my feet. Look at me now?I am a shipwrecked man clinging to a bit of wreckage.

Your home is regarded as a model home, your life as a model life. But all this splendor, and you along with it... it's just as though it were built upon a shifting quagmire. A moment may come, a word can be spoken, and both you and all this splendor will collapse. The spirit of truth and the spirit of freedom - these are the pillars of society.

When you've sold yourself once for the sake of others, you don't do it a second time.

Your squirrel would run about and do all her tricks if you would be nice, and do as she wants... Your skylark would chirp about in every room, with her song rising and falling.

Whenever I take up a newspaper, I seem to see Ghosts gliding between the lines. There must be Ghosts all the country over, as thick as the sand of the sea.... We are, one and all, so pitifully afraid of the light.

Whether I pound or am being pounded, all the same there will be moaning!

Why shouldn't I look at my dearest treasure? - at all the beauty that is mine, all my very own.

Writing has ... been to me like a bath from which I have risen feeling cleaner, healthier, and freer.

To seek one's goals and to drive toward it, steeling one's heart, is most uplifting!

Yes - some day, perhaps, after many years, when I am no longer as pretty as I am now. Don't laugh at me! I mean, of course, when Torvald is no longer as devoted to me as he is now; when my dancing and dressing-up and reciting have palled on him then it may be a good thing to have something in reserve.

To think it, wish it, even want it ? but do it! No, that I cannot understand.

Yes, Love shall win!

Was the majority right when they stood by while Jesus was crucified? Was the majority right when they refused to believe that the earth moved around the sun and let Galileo be driven to his knees like a dog? It takes fifty years for the majority to be right. The majority is never right until it does right.

Yes, you may depend upon it he has the ability! He is the younger generation that stands ready to knock at my door - to make an end of Halvard Solness.

What business has science and capitalism got, bringing all these new inventions into the works, before society has produced a generation educated up to using them!

You don't get nothing for nothing in this life.

What in fact have I achieved, however much it may seem Bits and pieces trivialities. But here they won't tolerate anything else, or anything more. If I wanted to take one step in advance of the current views and opinions of the day, that would put paid to any power I have. Do you know what we are those of us who count as pillars of society We are society's tools, neither more nor less.

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Ibsen, aka Henrik Johan Ibsen
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Norwegian Dramatic and Lyric Poet, Playwright and Theatre Director