Bjørnstjerne Martinus Bjørnson: De Nygifte [The Newly-Married Couple] (798 words)

Kathryn Jane Rees (University of Cambridge)
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Bjørnson’s stay in Paris in 1863, and his encounter with the work of Alfred de Musset, stimulated the writing of this play, regarded as the first Scandinavian bourgeois problem drama.

Act 1

When the play opens, Axel Hargaut has been married to Laura for only two days. He is living with her at the home of her parents, “one of the oldest and richest families in the country” (16). Laura is her parents’ “only joy”, for, as the Father declares, “God gave us five children; and he took away four from us” (22). Laura is, adds the Mother, “the spoilt child of our sorrow . . . she has never been away from us a single day since she was born” (22). Laura’…

Rees, Kathryn Jane. "De Nygifte". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 June 2017
[, accessed 17 October 2018.]

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