ABSTRACT

The Master-Builder's attempt to fulfil the manic dream of the young girl, Hilda—who uses him, as he tries to use her, to fulfil his dream of manic reparation of a destroyed inner world—leads to his death. The play is Ibsen's Master-Builder, whose meaning and message remains as mysterious to-day as it was when first performed more than fifty years ago, when nearly all the critics reacted to it with contempt. The major action of the play takes place between the Master-builder and a young girl, Hilda, a remarkable character; with her appearance the daemonic forces advance into the foreground and are treated between him and her almost as real, at first playfully, later in all seriousness. The Master-Builder's success had also been greatly assisted in the past by another piece of 'luck'. Hilda's own relation to children is very inhibited. The hints that she desires children by the Builder are extremely slight, hardly to be detected.