Behavior: Free Thyself


A young man returns from Paris to the small Norwegian town of his birth and tells his mother that syphilis has doomed him to madness and death.

Mind you, he never uses the word syphilis. His mother obliquely informs him that his pitiable fate is a hereditary legacy from his late father, a sordid libertine. The height of Victorianism (1881) was not the best possible time to treat such matters on a public stage, and the vituperative abuse heaped on Ibsen for his effrontery has probably never been equaled in...

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