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Throughout the history of the world men and women of honor and accomplishment have had glorious titles bestowed upon them to signify their greatness For example in Czarist Russia bringing vast amounts of new land to the empire would merit the title of Great as in Catherine the Great and Peter the Great Such titles however are not just limited to political affairs and powerful influence over any aspect of life should be met with a proper designation When James Joyce said It may be questioned whether any man has held so firm an empire over the thinking world in modern times qtd in Brunsdale 974 should not the individual in question have some sort of grandiose title The answer is yes and the subject of the quote already does Joyces words refer to the playwright Henrik Ibsen who is widely regarded as the father of modern drama Brunsdale 973 Ibsen received and deserved this honor because of his innovations on the stage his incorporation of realistic and social issues in his plays the foresight in his works and the critical praise he has drawn for Ghosts and The Lady from the Sea Henrik Ibsen was born in Skien Norway on March 20 1828 His father Knud Ibsen was a prosperous merchant who failed financially in 1835 thus beginning an adolescence of poverty for Henrik He was a loner painfully shy and teased by his schoolmates Ibsen immersed himself in books though he also drew caricatures of his tormenters Ibsen vowed to escape Skien and but poverty kept this dream from him In 1846 while living in Grimstad Ibsen had an illegitimate child with a women ten years older than himself but supported the child discreetly despite lacking the means to truly do so Fjelde 1 By 1850 he had moved to Christiania now Oslo and begun studying for the university entrance exam at a preparatory school He eventually failed two subjects
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