chapter  I
Pages 14

In Brand, Peer Gynt and Emperor and Galilean, Ibsen reached not only the maximum of mental and spiritual tension possible to him, but also that impasse beyond which he was unable or, perhaps, unwilling, to go. It was natural that he should have turned, for quite a while, to the actualities around him, as if hoping to find what room there was left in them for a 'positive theory of life'. A foretaste of Ibsen's criticism of society was given in his Catilina, which was followed up by much more vigorous attacks in Love's Comedy, Brandy Peer Gynt and especially in the satirical comedy, The League of Youth. The principal reason for the uproar raised by them was again Ibsen's attack on marriage; not on marriage in general as in Love's Comedy, but on that prevalent in the modern world. The morality of the period was shocked by even such a comparatively mild catastrophe of married life as Nora's flight.