Behavior: Free Thyself

GHOSTS by HENRIK IBSEN

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...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!