chapter  III
A Romantic Rebel
Pages 11

The relation between "The Wild Duck" and "An Enemy of the People" is not unlike that between Peer Gynt and Brand. If Peer is a deliberate parody of Brand, the spirit prevailing in The Wild Duck can be regarded as a parody of practically everything Dr. Stockmann stands for. But whereas the undercurrent of Peer Gynt is still one of ardent faith, The Wild Duck must have been written in a mood of utter disappointment with humanity, especially with that average portion of it the tragedy of which is that it cannot even be tragic. Hialmar and Greger Werle meet after an interval of fifteen years, during which many things have happened. Greger's father is a rich industrialist, but he owes his wealth to a shabby transaction, the victim of which was old Ekdal Hialmar's 'shipwrecked old man'. The Wild Duck is one of Ibsen's best-constructed plays.