The Vikings of Helgeland by Henrik Ibsen
Author: Henrik Ibsen
The Vikings of Helgeland (Hærmændene paa Helgeland) is a play by Henrik Ibsen based on the old Nordic sagas. The Vikings of Helgeland is his seventh play, written in 1857 and first performed in 1858 at the Christiania Norske Theatre, where Ibsen was the director.
1. Synopsis of The Vikings of Helgeland
The play takes place on the island of Helgeland in the north of Norway during the reign of Eric the Blood Axe (931-933 AD). Ornulf, an Icelandic chieftain, and his seven sons are trying to rescue his daughter, Dagny, and foster daughter Hjordis. During a raid, Dagny and Hjordis were kidnapped and married to Sigurd, the sea-king, and Gunnar, a wealthy farmer. The plot centers on themes of honor, loyalty, and revenge.
The character Dagny contributed to the popularity of this name in Scandinavia during the second half of the 19th century. The warlike Hjordis is one of Ibsen’s strongest female characters and has been compared to Ibsen’s later anti-heroine, Hedda Gabler, by the Norwegian writer Hans Jaeger.
An Icelandic Chieftain.
Sigurd the Strong
A rich yeoman of Helgeland.
Ornulf’s foster daughter.
Kare the Peasant
Gunnar’s four years old son.