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This one-page guide includes a plot summary and brief analysis of The Ghost Sonata by August Strindberg. The Ghost Sonata () by seminal Swedish. The Ghost Sonata (Swedish title: Spöksonaten) was written in and first performed the January 21st, at Strindberg’s Intimate Theater in Stockholm. For his final Strindberg staging, Bergman returns to The Ghost Sonata for the fourth time and the result is ‘more a farewell tale than an unmasking’.

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Hummel accuses Amalia of having falsified her birthdate, and accuses the Colonel of having stolen his true fiancee.

In The Interpretation of Dreams and Three Contributions to the Theory of SexFreud tried to describe the structure of the mind, analyze how it functioned, provide reasons for human behavior and suggest ways gyost dealing with mental illness.

The Student also thinks he has found a generous benefactor in the Old Man.

The Ghost Sonata | play by Strindberg |

The work concerns the vampirish old man Hummel, who seeks to destroy the Colonel, who years ago seduced the woman Hummel loved. Another, even more painful, aspect of the human condition revealed by The Ghost Gyost is the terrible suffering human beings must face in life.

In he published Getting Married, a collection of scandalous short stories that drew charges of blasphemy back in Sweden. And I would regard it as a new education for a new life. Strindberg was, in his peculiar way, constantly preoccupied with all manner of religious literature and doctrine.

As the play begins, we observe the Student asking the evanescent Milkmaid to give him a drink of water from the well.

Strindberg frequently visited the couple, and had begun to view them as parental figures, all the while falling in love with Siri. As the Student says in closing, only in the imagination is there anything which fulfills its promise. For his final Strindberg staging, Bergman returns to The Ghost Sonata for the fourth time and the result is ‘more a farewell tale than an unmasking’.


Modern Language Association http: Emerging from her hiding place, the decrepit Amaila creeps up behind Hummel and informs him that she is the same woman as the woman depicted in the statue, leaving Hummel very dismayed.

Worse yet, she explains, are the servants who tend to the family.

The Ghost Sonata

Characters in realistic plays are affected by both heredity and environment, and respond in natural ways to psychological and physical conflict. Johansson serves the Old Man in exchange for food and the small amount of freedom he is allowed.

When he arrives at the ghost supper, the Old Man recognizes him as a jewel thief. But by the end of the play his optimism and idealism have turned strijdberg cynicism, like the Old Man.

In —09 he produced a few historical dramas of little note, then spent his last few years writing only essays about religion and politics. His life and career at the turn of the twentieth century, however, was a twisting path of minor successes and major public humiliations, of deep psychological and spiritual turmoil, and of a love-hate relationship with women that scarred his mind and inspired him to some of his best writing.

I am not especially troubled by the fact that we find no ladders leading to heaven, or pillows of stone, in The Ghost Sonata. With this parallel in mind, we might search for further similarities between Jacob Hummel and his Biblical prototype:.

They spent fifteen years together, battling each other over his increasingly eccentric personality, wonata she tried to become a successful actress. The Old Man out of his wheelchair and hobbling along on crutches arrives uninvited and demands to be let in to see the Colonel. When they are all seated in a circle, the Old Man reveals his plan: The dreams he has of finding paradise in a beautiful house, with a lovely wife, a generous income, and happy children, are dashed when he discovers that the real world is often filled with unexplainable rejection and disappointment, and he watches the girl he loves die in front of him.


The question of the essential nature of Hummel remains a difficult one. Sleep, you lovely, innocent, doomed strinderg, suffering for no fault of your own. And what seems glamorous from a distance is in close-up obscene. The Student recalls his father as bankrupt and ruined, and remembers him blaming his misfortune on the Old Man.

Part of strinddberg alive and being human is making mistakes—sometimes very big ones—then finding ways to learn from them and recover.

The Ghost Sonata |

The elegant Dark Lady Gerthi Kulle lifts her veil to reveal an immense pustulant growth on her left cheek; her suitor, the Posh Man Anders Beckmandangles what looks like a loose vein from his mouth. Here, the Student ponders that similarity:. With his second sight, he also saw the apparition of the Milkmaid at the fountain, and is now able to see the ghost of the Dead Man walk out of the house and around the corner to see how many people have come to pay their respects. These conflicts—an attraction toward motherly figures that might provide him with the affection he craved, and a repulsion from strong, domineering, sexual women—appear repeatedly in his later plays.

She left him within three months and, though she returned and they had one child together, their relationship ended permanently in Strindberg took the title from Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No.

And, if one cares to press the analogy with the sonata-form for there is much evidence that Strindberg intended us to do so: