Showing his development from dramas of societal conflict to vivid portrayals of psychological turmoil, Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts and Other Plays is translated with an introduction by Una Ellis-Fermor in Penguin Classics. The four plays in this volume, written late in Ibsen’s career as a dramatist, move away from his earlier preoccupation with people at odds with society to instead explore the inward struggle with their own thoughts, feelings and dreams. The Master Builder depicts a powerful man whose illusions collapse in the face of a young woman’s courageous common sense. In Rosmersholm, an idealist is forced to question his beliefs and confront terrible truths about the past, while Little Eyolf portrays a man’s self-deception, which brings both tragic repercussions for his family and new hope for their future. And in John Gabriel Borkman, a dying woman returns to reclaim the affections and loyalty of her nephew, resulting in a bitter struggle with her sister. Una Ellis-Fermor’s lucid translation does full justice to Ibsen’s naturalistic dialogue. In her introduction, she discusses the themes of truth, freedom with responsibility, love and innocence that connect these four works, and examines each play in detail. Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) turned to journalism and playwriting instead of pursuing a university career. Ibsen was one of the earliest writers to dramatise the individual’s alienation from society. Although Ibsen was never fully appreciated during his lifetime, he has since come to be recognised as one of the great dramatists of all time and the ‘Father of Modern Drama’. If you enjoyed The Master Builder, you might like Ibsen’s Ghosts and Other Plays, also available in Penguin Classics.