On Dr. Stockmann’s Parrhesia: Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People” in the Light of Foucault

Main Article Content

Mohammad-Javad Haj’jari
Noorbakhsh Hooti

Abstract

An honest intellectual dutifully standing with truth against lies and treacheries of his society is a parrhesiastic figure in Foucault’s terminology. Foucault takes parrhesia as the fearless and frank speech regarding the truth of something or a situation before truth-mongering and public deception and he takes the parrhesiastic as the spokesperson for truth. In this light, Dr. Stockmann in Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People occupies a unique position within Ibsen’s political philosophy. Dutifully criticizing what the majority blindly take for granted from their liar leaders in the name of democracy, Dr. Stockmann fulfills the role of a parrhesiastic figure that stands against socio-political corruption. He enters a parrhesiastic game with both the majority and the officialdom to fulfill his democratic parrhesia as a truthful citizen before the duped community, while covertly preparing for his own philosophic parrhesia or self-care within the conformist community. However, his final failure lies in his confrontation with democracy itself, which wrongly gives the right of speaking even to the liars. This article thus aims at analyzing Ibsen’s play through a Foucauldian perspective regarding the concept of parrhesia and its relation to democracy. It is to reveal Ibsen’s satire on the fake ideology of democracy and highlight the necessity of humanity’s parrhesiastic self-care for the well-being of the self and the others.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Haj’jari, M.-J., & Hooti, N. (2020). On Dr. Stockmann’s Parrhesia: Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People” in the Light of Foucault. Folia Scandinavica Posnaniensia, 26, 27-48. Retrieved from https://pressto.amu.edu.pl/index.php/fsp/article/view/21295
Section
Literature

References

    Abedi Firouzjaee, H. (2017). A trip to Henrik Ibsen’s An enemy of the people: The scientist’s noble pursuit of truth at any cost. International Journal of Innovative Studies in Sociology and Humanities, vol. 2, no. 4, 28–32.

    Benét, W. R. (1998). The reader’s encyclopedia, 4th ed. London: A & C Black Publishers.

    Berntzen, B. (2011). Insisting on the truth: Arthur Miller’s adaptation of Ibsen’s An enemy of the people. The Arthur Miller Journal, vol. 6, no. 1, 17–24.

    Brustein, R. (1965). The theatre of revolt. London: Methuen & Co.

    Clurman, H. (1977). Ibsen. London: The Macmillan Press Ltd.

    Egan, M., (ed.) (2003). Henrik Ibsen: The critical heritage. London: Routledge.

    Foucault, M. (2001). Fearless speech. J. Pearson (ed.). Los Angeles: Semiotext(e).

    Foucault, M. (2011). The courage of truth (The government of self and others II): Lectures at the Collège de France 1983–1984. F. Gros (ed.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Fulsås, N. (2011). Ibsen misrepresented: Canonization, oblivion, and the need for history. Ibsen Studies, vol. 11, no. 1, 3–20.

    Gjesdal, K. (2014). Nietzschean variations: Politics, interest, and education in Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People. Ibsen Studies, vol. 14, no. 2, 109–135.

    Greenblatt, S. & Abrams, M. H. (2006). The Norton anthology of English literature, 8th ed., Vol. 2. London: W. W. Norton & Company.

    Heims, N. (2008). Critical essay on An enemy of the people. In I. M. Milne (ed.), Drama for students, vol. 25 (pp. 56–59). Farmington Hills, MI: Cengage Gale.

    Ibsen, H. (1964). Letters and speeches. Evert Sprinchorn (ed. & trans.). New York: Hill and Wang.

    Ibsen, H. (2005). An enemy of the people. R. Farquharson Sharp (trans.). San Diego: ICON Group International.

    Johnsen, W. A. (2003). Violence and modernism: Ibsen, Joyce, and Woolf. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.

    Kaufmann, F. W. (1965). Ibsen’s conception of truth. In: R. Fjelde (ed.), Ibsen: A Collection of Critical Essays (pp. 18–28). New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

    Knutson, H. C. (1993). An enemy of the people: Ibsen’s reluctant comedy. Comparative Drama, vol. 27, no. 2, 159–175.

    Ledger, S. (2008). Henrik Ibsen. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Lucas, F. L. (1962). The drama of Ibsen and Strindberg. London: Cassell.

    McFarlane, J. W. (trans.) (ed.) (1960). Ibsen: Volume vi (An Enemy of the people, The wild duck, Rosmersholm). London: Oxford University Press.

    Marcuse, H. (2005). Heideggerian Marxism. Richard Wolin and John Abromeit (eds.). Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press.

    May, K. M. (1985). Ibsen and Shaw. London: The Macmillan Press Ltd.

    Meyer, M. (1963). Introduction. In M. Meyer (trans.), An enemy of the people (pp. 7–18). London: Rupert Hart-Davis.

    Milne, I. M. (ed.) (2008). Drama for students, vol. 25. Farmington Hills, MI: Cengage Gale.

    Roberts, J. W. (2005). City of Sokrates: An introduction to classical Athens, 2nd ed. London: Routledge.

    Sandberg, M. B. (2015). Ibsen’s houses: Architectural metaphor and the modern uncanny. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Shaw, G. B. (1913). The quintessence of Ibsenism: Now completed to the death of Ibsen. New York: Hill and Wang.

    Shepherd-Bar, K. E. (2015). Theatre and evolution from Ibsen to Beckett. New York: Columbia University Press.

    Taylor, D. (ed.) (2011). Michel Foucault: Key concepts. Durham: Acumen.

    Templeton, J. (2018). Shaw’s Ibsen: A re-appraisal. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Von Hofmannsthal, H. (1962). The people in Ibsen’s drama. In J. W. McFarlane (ed.), Discussions of Henrik Ibsen (pp. 83–88). Boston: D. C. Heath and Company.

    Walla, P. (2014). Political corruption and intellectual activism in Henrik Ibsen’s An enemy of the people. Revue du CAMES : Lettres, Langues et linguistique, vol. 00, no. 0, 14–27.

    Wallace, R. W. (2002). The power to speak — and not to listen – in Ancient Athens. In R. M. Rosen & and I. Sluiter (eds.), Free Speech in Classical Antiquity (pp. 222–223). Leiden: Brill.

    Williams, R. (1964). Drama from Ibsen to Eliot. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.