posted on May, 12 2013 @ 10:32 PM
"A case of Reflection"
Once a man reaches a certain age, he reflects on the way he has lived and decides whether or not he has fulfilled his design in existence. His
reflections deal with a group of ideas that are formulated in his mind. Henrik Ibsens play, "Peer Gynt", is a perfect example of this thought, the
play brings into focus four main characters which serve to prove that the play is a complicated cogitation in the mind of Peer.
The first figure in the play, the button moulder, adds to this theory. He is a messenger of death sent by the master to collect all unformed,
characterless souls, to be reformed and eventually recast. The button moulder is a good example. He is used, in the play, to show the undefined
nature of those that fail to make commitments throughout their lives.
In scene VIII, Peer Gynt meets an old man, the king of the trolls, who within this characterization is also his father-in-law. Peer tells him of
his need for a voucher because he is accused of being unformed and characterless and that he does not have any desire to be thrown into the casting
ladle. But the old man rejects his plea and refuses to lie for him. The memory of his deserted daughter proves to him that Peer Gynt has lived and
followed the motto of the Troll: "Troll! to thyself be enough!"
Henrik Ibsen use of the characters, the Lean one and the Master, show again that the play is only an old mans complicated way of reflection. The
characters show extremes from natural to unnatural. The natural way of being that of the master, God, who wants us to define our lives through
commitments. The unnatural, which is more apparent, is represented by the Lean One, the devil, who expects us to defy what's right and natural and
to do what ever one feels.
Peer Gynt, in the play, shows that he has defied both natural and unnatural ways of life to take an existence some where in between both. Each
scene in the play shows an old man on the verge of death, still unwilling to make commitments. Al-though only a play, it shows the necessity for
commitments in our lives and establishes that with out them the days become abstract and unfulfilled.
The four main characters, which I have described in earlier paragraphs, are descriptive of the thoughts and feelings that Peer Gynt has towards
himself. Each figure shows the complex way the human mind finds models to represent thoughts and ideas. The characters themselves are the best
evidence that the play is only an act of reflection in the mind of Peer Gynt, besides being an effective use by Henrik Ibsen of an allegory to project