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JAMA 100 Years Ago
July 12, 2006


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2006;296(2):230. doi:10.1001/jama.296.2.230

The recent death of Henrik Ibsen, the Norwegian dramatist, recalls to mind the fact that as a young man he studied medicine and that his interest in the progress of medical science never ceased during his long life. There is no doubt that his medical studies enabled him to see deeper below the surface of modern manners and morals than is usually the case, and thus enabled him to present the significance of life more fully than any of his contemporary dramatists. There is scarcely a play of Ibsen's written after his genius had reached his maturity which does not contain distinct pathologic elements, sometimes making it a very interesting presentation of a nosologic type easily recognized by the attentive physician. This is especially true with regard to the Ibsen plays that are most characteristic and popular. The fact is coming to be much more recognized than used to be the case.