Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Master Builder - Ibsen

The architect throws himself from his own structure...

Halvard, the master builder is burdened with being the most successful architect the world has ever known, exhibiting the classic traits of a narcissism that seems to define the profession. His understudy, craving his approval and also the freedom to design on his own is causally thrown aside to perpetually buttress Halvards sense of self.

A young woman comes to visit after meeting Halvard for the first time 10 years ago and persuades him that he has promised himself to her and convinces him that he must build a castle in the air - a feat only a true master builder could accomplish. Halvard, who is getting closer and closer to becoming immobilized by his insanity begins to obsess over the castle, his marriage since the death of his two sons has suffered and he throws himself into this new project with reckless abandon.

When their house/castle is finished, Hilda, that crafty vixen, persuades Halvard to attach a garland to the highest point on the tower, although he is afraid of heights, to fulfill her fantasy. As Halvard begin to hang the garland he slips and falls to his death...

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Henry V - William Shakespeare

In this essay, I will examine the rhetorical and dramatic effectiveness of King Henry’s speech to the Governor of Harfluer in Act 3 Scene 4 ...