How to Tell If You’re a Character in an Ibsen Play

Apologies to The Toast.

Your husband married you for your money, but you don’t know it. When you discover the truth, you are overjoyed.

You are a wealthy and bored socialite. You convince your old boyfriend to kill himself; after he’s dead, the only safe thing to do is kill yourself, too.

You are a boy living in a grim Norwegian coastal town. You plan to leave. This is a mistake.

You have a mortal enemy. Before executing your plan for revenge, you reveal it to him so that he can find its weak points.

You encourage your best friend to kill herself so that you can have her husband, but when he proposes marriage, you decide to kill yourself instead. He joins you.

You are a wealthy bourgeois. Do you have a lot to learn!

You are a corrupt shipping magnate. You give a speech to the entire town revealing your many crimes. This makes you a hero.

You are a doctor. You are determined that the world know the truth, no matter the consequences. This makes you a hero.

You are a wealthy young man. You are certain that the world should be left alone with its cherished illusions. This makes you a hero.

You suffer from chronic illness, thanks to your father’s syphilis.

You are the spoiled, childish wife of a banker, until you suddenly transform into an author surrogate.

Your family is faced with a problem. You decide you’d better commit suicide before anyone else can.

You are the beloved pet of a young girl. She will certainly kill you, unless she kills herself first.

You are a middle-aged architect who falls in love with a much younger woman. You also have psychic powers, but they won’t save you.

About andrewmiller2007

Andrew Miller is a Strategic Leader with the City of Mississauga in Ontario. He holds a BA from McGill, an MA from Yale, and a PhD from Johns Hopkins, none of which are related to what he's doing now. His interests include cities and urbanism, narratology and game design, noir fiction and belles lettres, and Aristotle and Saint Paul, but it's his expertise in public-transit policy and implementation that pays the bills. He volunteers his time to PhD students interested in exploring lives and careers outside of the academy. He's been a panelist on CBC Radio on the subject of municipal finance reform, and is a two-time TEDx speaker. He's also fun at parties.

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