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Brian Johnston


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below is a list of Brian Johnston's plays - click on a Play Title for more information

Emperor And Galilean

Emperor And Galilean

Brian Johnston
Translator Johnston points out that this 2-part, 10-act historical drama is a transitional work for Ibsen. Before it, his plays were histories, fantasies, and beefed-up folktales; after it, he wrote his great realist dramas, 12 in all, from Pillars of Society (1877) to When We Dead awaken (1899). For that reason alone, Ibsen's seldom-produced, gargantuan masterpiece is worth reading, and Johnston's clear, contemporary translation makes it all the more so. The vast play focuses on Roman emperor Julian's rise to power and his misbegotten attempts to roll back the clock and return the increasingly Christian eastern half of the empire to its former pagan glory. But the Christians were inspired, determined, and driven. The pagans were not. as Ibsen demonstrates, Julian's motives were pure, and his critique of the early Christians, especially their hypocrisy and contentiousness over every small point of dogma, was sound. Why Ibsen found Julian's story relevant in 1873 remains a question--for scholars, however. Meanwhile, Johnston's beautiful English rendering of it compels our attention today. Jack Helbig

Original Playwright - Henrik Ibsen

1st Produced:
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1st Published:
Smith and KrAus (1999)   978-1575251943


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