thumbnail of Egoist in tragedy; Ibsen's The Master-Builder, part two
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
And I was hard out on the result of conscience experience for the first time. He would have been guided to a new determination which is the climax of our previous mode. She will have a castle my castle. And Army in its songs has mastered the will of the girl. But the result is different from the other times when he profited by his action. And will the ruin of the bro breaks in the choir and I leave. For now. Hilda is the one. Whims he have succeeded in prevailing over are. Who is driving him to the performance of the impossible. It's my castle and my kingdom. And when he falls he is my master builder. In the same the problem was soundness for the first time volunteering through the secondary roads. I read. Here
that. My castle stand on the Heights on a very great height sadness. I no doubt it's to have the high towers. And I understand the quality. Yes I will write up there while I stand and look down upon the other people on those that are building churches and homes for mothers and fathers in the group of children. And you may come and look at it too. Soundness in a lot. Is the builder to be allowed to come out beside the princess. If the builder will. Solve this more starkly. Then I think the builder will build up. The builder he will come with us but He never be able to build any more poor building. Oh yes then. We too will set to work together a man will build the loveliest the loveliest thing
in all the world. Hill is silent a little while and then says with an indefinable expression in Horizon castles in the air. From now on. Hilda is the directing force for Saul and she vs. him to prove he is being worthy of her belief to dare the impossible. By putting himself in the extremists jeopardy that his peers can imagine. Let's notice exactly proper climbing of the tower means to solve. He'd make the building of churches. His specialty when he was young. And that's why I wouldn't talk to him today he declares that his fear of heights is a very special thing. The dizziness is weeks he experienced was such that never till the day after church life staying dry. Was he able to climb to any great height
and that dizziness had got to be mastered and that it was the physical incapacity which linked him with humanity. And so on the day of the completion of the chart by Sage or. Some of us ascended the tower removed himself from a further god. In favor of being a free builder R. who would devote himself to the building of homes for people and especially for families to live in and be happy and quote. But men have no use for their homes to be happy when I shouldn't have had any use for such a home if I had one. You notice there are two classes of builders that Hilda will look down on though the build churches and those that build homes for human beings. What Sam was aims at as he tells us is quote to create the dwelling place of human happiness. The churches are for men
and men come upon happiness in their homes. Quote. I believe there is only one possible dwelling place for human happiness and that's where I'm going to build it now. Hilda gazes fixedly at him. Mr. Saunders You mean our castle the castles in the air. Yes. In the planning of the Tara Hill the demands of him now. She demands a prove that he is the B.A.A. whom she has believed in an absolutely for 10 years. That eagerness to see it proved is motivated by her childish jealousy of firebox is only part of Ibsen's workmanship and blending with human elements the profound and terrifying along into those third slightly laughable. As I said before the younger is not only the ends are two but
sadness as Hope far. And the completion of himself is also the child who hardly realizes what she's doing. But for some. The ascent of the tower is the dramatic celebration last stage of the builder. The last effort to find freedom and happiness his last and final challenge to God is an equal. Quote Barath judge me a spouse the US seems best today. But here after I would build nothing but the loveliest thing in the world. Build it together with the princess whom I love. I need to do this is to tell his own fear his fear of retribution from his adversary and perhaps the fear or is now poignant because for the first time he is committed to a course where you can find happiness and
freedom. And it's late Epson's late vision to have in my opinion that God will surely now destroy the opportunity. The architect who is the servant of the Lord and build churches. He will escape the consequence of any crime spree of God's earth and the servant can find freedom and challenge as master. I'll build houses for men. But the task which that freed builder has set himself his preclears and God's vengeance may be satisfied by his servant sense of his futility. But now at last the moment as follows as seeing the way to be both free. And the giver of happiness to others. He will then be the equal of the Almighty. But
to achieve this he has had to surrender one hostage to fortune for the first time the freedom and the happiness are linked with his love and submission to another human being. And so these very grim northern guard it makes of horror the instrument of retribution and a punishment. As he said to be free to serve. As he strapped the happiness of achievement as a single creator are with no obligation and no doubt. So will she. And if you will conquer is your man I say. And do the impossible. She would trade her lover or live with him. For the moment when he fulfills her dream of him even if it costs him life.
And thus the guard Epson is in a very new and strange way given the place of the sanctions or in reverse on the common sense and the other to play. Now this clearly can be described structurally you'll see as a succession of bits of evidence again about the various cruelties and cowardice is here still in acting before us when the place is dark and the destruction of the egotist has its conclusion by the Spirit himself as Ray. It is much more than these other players last plays of Ibsen. A player action in which the homeworks sequence of crimes. Is related directly. When confronted with I rené in when we did away our sympathies already with group back and with her. Our emotional share of the
play is almost all concerned with the possibility of a skate and rebirth already and that's just what the title indicate when we get awaken. We're conscious of the ruin of Iranians life but the deeper our rubric fuels his guilt the more we are involved in his last in their last joint effort to make a new beginning. And the less we can see the climax of that play as retribution. My suggestion heirs. But the difference in presentation between the figures Roback and solves. If linked with Simpson's certainty of an external reality in the later play when we dead awaken and his dying father in the mouth of the now that may seem absurdly paradoxical. To assert that when we dead awaken which is the place so full of mist and revelry
and dream and hesitation so full of doubts as to where I release fantasy begins and end in still on firm ground in comparison with the master builder whose lines are sharp and in the case of which every thread turns but I think it's a true statement nonetheless. I remain maybe crazy. In when we dead awaken but Brubeck was not. And Ruby understands irony very well indeed. And that I think is what it meant when he said in another of his letters when he was working on when we did awaken. If I ever finish the epilogue he said that to God if I do anything else in the theater it will be quite quite different. I think that he really felt that the sequence of plays
which it started with the Master Builder with one in which the glass he had at least for his particular problem to a conclusion and which he knew where the reality lay. Sat almost in the master builder and his Creator. Are still in the terrifying position of not knowing his guilt for certain. Not knowing how far the evil courses. Obvious fantasy have been able actually to transform the world driving game. And that's what I meant by saying that the mystery of the burning house is in a sense at the heart of a mass to go there. It's the foundation of the park in the fog. As a builder. It precisely does the evidence. Are being influenced obviously unspoken wishes and dreams on the minds of other people and it
colors his interpretation that are it's the evidence for the sinister position God has allotted to him. And in the grounds of his most important act. And yet there is this great and cruel question. Did he actually called the house to be burned down or not. The fire didn't start it didn't happen at the time of the circumstances he wanted it to happen. But it's immediate Apple's likeness to his interests makes solving most august but never quite sure that he's getting. But any rate what certainty he attains of his off the ship in this disaster is coupled with the knowledge that in the view of other men he would quote never be quite in the point but he sure enough served the bases on this evidence. His
whole theory of God's purposes for him. And his determination to defeat them. I've served you before about the pride of the current conflict of dizziness while at slicing church and later in his own new house. The prove to himself and to Hilda that he is the strange and monstrous Portland he has become. Even God has gifted them with the capacity of creation. He would be free to use it in his own way in the conquest. I'd be human infirmity is his security of that. But it's also security in another sense it is the performance of an action in the clearer view of all in every detail that he and others do not believe he can do and there's no doubt that he does and so will
he cut through the uncertainties of ambiguity which are torture to him since the burning of the house. It must be repeated at Hilda's request because here again it was a new state of the dream fantasy. And it must have the performance of the impossibility again to validate it into real existence. The ascent of the tower is the validation for good as the burning of the house was the validation for bad of solaces divine power of creation. It In this sense I think the Master Builder is the ancestor of when we get away from it's not so much in the identity of the leading figures of sadness and darkness and still less by thinking one build up much of the evidence. The similarity of the
roles of the women. Because if you think of them Maya. Is a long way from Mrs. solace from a lean and in fact if my own has kinship with any of the day she has a very disagreeable kinship with Hilda a fact which certain commentators with some of already pointed out and Mrs. Borkman is also very different from a lean and Iranians not similar to any of them but the rules of life had an identity in him. A man hasn't committed the sin of the sin in connection with creation. He has aspired to create as God creates and as an artist creates and he has despised the human way of love and generation. And so his gift of creation has turned evil and perverted.
And at the last he's going to try again. He will try to recover the human gift of creativity and love. Not with the false freedom of the ego just as he is one conceived it but in a necessary bondage in union with somebody else. There were some has to say in this play. But in the moment when the truth has been passed and he's wondering all of the day's retribution has come. For his dad is a jealous God and will smite him not for his say but for his repentance and the hope of a new day. The egoist in tragedy is the last in a series of three talks by David Greene poet translator and professor in the committee on social thought at the
University of Chicago. Today's program is the master builder. This is the n AB network.
Egoist in tragedy
Ibsen's The Master-Builder, part two
Producing Organization
University of Chicago
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-vm42wq5t).
Episode Description
This program features the conclusion of David Grene's lecture on Henrik Ibsen's The Master-Builder.
Series Description
Three lectures by David Grene, poet, translator, and Professor in the Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago. He discusses a particular kind of tragedy and focuses on three examples.
Broadcast Date
Ibsen, Henrik, 1828-1906--Criticism and interpretation.
Media type
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Producing Organization: University of Chicago
Speaker: Grene, David
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 55-12-3 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:18:05
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Egoist in tragedy; Ibsen's The Master-Builder, part two,” 1955-05-15, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 3, 2024,
MLA: “Egoist in tragedy; Ibsen's The Master-Builder, part two.” 1955-05-15. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 3, 2024. <>.
APA: Egoist in tragedy; Ibsen's The Master-Builder, part two. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from