Thematic Analysis Of "Rosmersholm" By Henrik Ibsen.

1250 words - 5 pages

Henrik Ibsen's play "Rosmersholm" tackles the issue of the oppression of new and radical ideas, liberal thought, and self-knowledge. The forces of oppression at work in the play range from organized political forces to interior motivations that distract one from completely realizing self-actualization. A battle is taking place between those who want to change the course of future events and establish a new order and those who wish to maintain the comfortable status quo while squelching any attempt to disrupt that state of being. Sometimes this battle even takes place within a single individual.John Rosmer and Rebekka West represent the wish to change the current order of the universe and create a new society of free thought, and in this they must battle with the representative of the old school of thinking in the person of the headmaster of the school, Kroll. Rosmer himself is the key to the battle against oppression since he was once the figurehead for the traditional way. He was raised in a strict family atmosphere and clung tightly to the ideas with which he was born. He became a clergyman and adhered to the ideals of the church. The church can be seen as the ultimate symbol of the conservative policy which Kroll and his faction which to live under. Not only does he wish to live under that policy, but he also insists that everyone else live under it. Rosmer has drifted away from the conservative point of view and so finds himself in battle against his former ally, Kroll. Rebekka West is a so-called "emancipated" woman and has been instrumental in getting Rosmer to change his views. She and Rosmer have engaged in readings that has enlightened them both, and they share a world-view completely at odds with Kroll and his followers. The stage is set for the battle to begin when Rosmer finally admits to Kroll that his views on free thought have changed to the liberal side of things. The war will begin in the words of two newspapers, each representing the polar sides of the issues at hand. From this, it's clear that the issue will begin to spread out to the rest of the citizens of the town, and with Rosmer's important social standing it would become just a matter of time before lines were drawn and the war would escalate. Rosmer's and West's desire to change the thoughts and desires of their fellow men have met a forceful resistance, and the minions of oppression stand at the ready to commit themselves to battle to meet their ends.Oppression of new ideas isn't limited to warring political factions, however, sometimes the oppression comes from the order of society and how one reacts to those expectations. Both Rosmer and West must face up to those forces before they can give way to their idealized conception of what life and society should be like. Rosmer has to deal with the memory of his dead wife and what it means for he and West to share living quarters under the same roof. He welcomed West into his life to pursue their common belief "in pure...

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