The Life of Oswald Rufeisen Nechama Tec Regina, the one Oswald felt particularly attracted to, worked in a nearby town. Though unsuccessful, Oswald's warning to the Poles cemented further the relationship between him and the Balicki. Go down into the laundry and help with the garlands. Regina. Yes, ma'am. It is nothing more than a foolish jest of Oswald's, you may be sure. It is true there was a great difference in the price paid, between a paltry seventy pounds and a. Oswald sexually pursues Regina. In Act 2, Oswald sits at the table, drinking. When Mrs. Alving gets him to come talk to her, he tells her about his illness.
But her husband continued his affairs until his death, and Mrs. Alving stayed with him to protect her son from the taint of scandal, and for fear of being shunned by the community.
During the action of the play, she discovers that her son Oswald whom she had sent away to avoid his being corrupted by his father is suffering from syphilis that he inherited from his father. A sub-plot that concludes before the play's denouement involves a carpenter, Jacob Engstrand, who married Regina's mother when she was already pregnant though he is unaware, or pretends to be, that Captain Alving was Regina's father and regards Regina as his own daughter.
Having recently completed his work building Mrs. Alving's orphanage, Engstrand announces his ambition to open a hostel for seafarers. He tries to persuade Regina to leave Mrs. Alving and help him run the hostel, but she refuses. The night before the orphanage is due to be opened, Engstrand asks Pastor Manders to hold a prayer-meeting there.
Later that night, the orphanage burns down. Earlier, Manders had persuaded Mrs. Alving not to insure the orphanage, as to do so would imply a lack of faith in divine providence.
Engstrand says the blaze was caused by Manders' carelessness with a candle and offers to take the blame, which Manders readily accepts. In gratitude Manders offers to support Engstrand's hostel. When Regina and Oswald's sibling relationship is exposed, Regina departs, leaving Oswald in anguish.
He asks his mother to help him die by a morphine overdose to end his suffering from his disease, which could put him into a helpless vegetative state. She agrees, but only if it becomes necessary. The play concludes with Mrs. Alving having to confront the decision of whether or not to euthanize her son in accordance with his wishes. The original title, in both Danish and Norwegianis Gengangere, which can be literally translated as "again walkers", "ones who return", or " revenants ".
Ibsen wrote Ghosts during the autumn of and published it in December of the same year. When he went to Sorrentoin the summer ofhe was hard at work upon it.
He finished it by the end of November  and published it in Copenhagen on 13 December. Alving and August Lindberg as Osvald in the Swedish performance. Of course it is. And isn't a man bound to keep his word of honour? Certainly he is; but— Engstrand. At the time when Joanna had her misfortune with this Englishman—or maybe he was an American or a Russian, as they call 'em—well, sir, then she came to town. Poor thing, she had refused me once or twice before; she only had eyes for good- looking men in those days, and I had this crooked leg then.
Your reverence will remember how I had ventured up into a dancing- saloon where seafaring men were revelling in drunkenness and intoxication, as they say. And when I tried to exhort them to turn from their evil ways— Mrs. Alving coughs from the window.
I know, Engstrand, I know—the rough brutes threw you downstairs. You have told me about that incident before.
The affliction to your leg is a credit to you. I don't want to claim credit for it, your reverence. But what I wanted to tell you was that she came then and confided in me with tears and gnashing of teeth. I can tell you, sir, it went to my heart to hear her. Did it, indeed, Engstrand? Well, then I said to her: And you, Joanna," I said, "you have committed a sin and are a fallen woman.
But here stands Jacob Engstrand," I said, "on two strong legs"—of course that was only speaking in a kind of metaphor, as it were, your reverence. Well, sir, that was how I rescued her and made her my lawful wife, so that no one should know how recklessly she had carried on with the stranger.
That was all very kindly done. The only thing I cannot justify was your bringing yourself to accept the money. Joanna did have a trifle of money, you are quite right. But I didn't want to know anything about that. But he had gone away and disappeared on the stormy seas, your reverence. Was that how it was, my good fellow? So then Joanna and I decided that the money should go towards the child's bringing-up, and that's what became of it; and I can give a faithful account of every single penny of it.
This alters the complexion of the affair very considerably. That's how it was, your reverence. And I make bold to say that I have been a good father to Regina—as far as was in my power—for I am a poor erring mortal, alas! There, there, my dear Engstrand. Yes, I do make bold to say that I brought up the child, and made my poor Joanna a loving and careful husband, as the Bible says we ought. But it never occurred to me to go to your reverence and claim credit for it or boast about it because I had done one good deed in this world.
No; when Jacob Engstrand does a thing like that, he holds his tongue about it. Unfortunately it doesn't often happen, I know that only too well. And whenever I do come to see your reverence, I never seem to have anything but trouble and wickedness to talk about. Because, as I said just now—and I say it again—conscience can be very hard on us sometimes.
Give me your hand, Jacob Engstrand, Engstrand. Oh, sir, I don't like— Manders. No nonsense, Grasps his hand. And may I make bold humbly to beg your reverence's pardon— Manders. On the contrary it is for me to beg your pardon— Engstrand. Yes, certainly it is, and I do it with my whole heart.
Forgive me for having so much misjudged you. And I assure you that if I can do anything for you to prove my sincere regret and my goodwill towards you— Engstrand. Do you mean it, sir?
Ghosts (play) - Wikipedia
It would give me the greatest pleasure. As a matter of fact, sir, you could do it now. I am thinking of using the honest money I have put away out of my wages up here, in establishing a sort of Sailors' Home in the town. Yes, to be a sort of Refuge, as it were, There are such manifold temptations lying in wait for sailor men when they are roaming about on shore.
But my idea is that in this house of mine they should have a sort of parental care looking after them. What do you say to that, Mrs. I haven't much to begin such a work with, I know; but Heaven might prosper it, and if I found any helping hand stretched out to me, then— Manders. Quite so; we will talk over the matter further. Your project attracts me enormously. But in the meantime go back to the Orphanage and put everything tidy and light the lights, so that the occasion may seem a little solemn.
And then we will spend a little edifying time together, my dear Engstrand, for now I am sure you are in a suitable frame of mind. I believe I am, sir, truly. Alving, and thank you for all your kindness; and take good care of Regina for me. Wipes a tear from his eye. Poor Joanna's child— it is an extraordinary thing, but she seems to have grown into my life and to hold me by the heartstrings. That's how I feel about it, truly. Bows, and goes out. Now then, what do you think of him, Mrs Alving!
That was quite another explanation that he gave us. There, you see how exceedingly careful we ought to be in condemning our fellow-men. But at the same time it gives one genuine pleasure to find that one was mistaken.
Don't you think so? What I think is that you are, and always will remain, a big baby, Mr. Alving laying her hands on his shoulders. And I think that I should like very much to give you a good hug.
Manders drawing back hastily. No, no, good gracious! Alving with a smile. Oh, you needn't be afraid of me. Manders standing by the table. You choose such an extravagant way of expressing yourself sometimes. Now I must get these papers together and put them in my bag. And now goodbye, for the present. Keep your eyes open when Oswald comes back. I will come back and see you again presently.
He takes his hat and goes out by the hall door. ALVING sighs, glances out of the window, puts one or two things tidy in the room and turns to go into the dining-room. She stops in the doorway with a stifled cry. Oswald, are you still sitting at table!
Oswald from the dining-room. I am only finishing my cigar. I thought you had gone out for a little turn. Oswald from within the room. In weather like this? A glass is heard clinking. Manders that went out just now? Yes, he has gone over to the Orphanage. The clink of a bottle on a glass is heard again. Alving with an uneasy expression.
Oswald, dear, you should be careful with that liqueur. It's a good protective against the damp. Wouldn't you rather come in here? You know you don't like smoking in there. You may smoke a cigar in here, certainly. All right; I will come in, then. Just one drop more. Comes in, smoking a cigar, and shuts the door after him.
Where has the parson gone? I told you he had gone over to the Orphanage. Oh, so you did. You shouldn't sit so long at table, Oswald, Oswald holding his cigar behind his back.
But it's so nice and cosy, mother dear. Caresses her with one hand. Think what it means to me—to have come home; to sit at my mother's own table, in my mother's own room, and to enjoy the charming meals she gives me.
My dear, dear boy! Oswald a little impatiently, as he walks tip and down smoking. And what else is there for me to do here? I have no occupation— Mrs. Not in this ghastly weather, when there isn't a blink of sunshine all day long. Walks up and down the floor. Not to be able to work, it's—! I don't believe you were wise to come home. Yes, mother; I had to. Because I would ten times rather give up the happiness of having you with me, sooner than that you should— Oswald standing still by the table.
Tell me, mother—is it really such a great happiness for you to have me at home? Oswald crumpling up a newspaper. I should have thought it would have been pretty much the same to you whether I were here or away. Have you the heart to say that to your mother, Oswald? But you have been quite happy living without me so far. Yes, I have lived without you—that is true. The dusk falls by degrees. He has laid aside his cigar. Oswald stopping beside MRS. Mother, may I sit on the couch beside you?
Of course, my dear boy. Now I must tell you something mother. Oswald staring in front of him. I can't bear it any longer. I couldn't bring myself to write to you about it; and since I have been at home— Mrs. Alving catching him by the arm.
Oswald, what is it? Both yesterday and today I have tried to push my thoughts away from me—to free myself from them. You must speak plainly, Oswald! Oswald drawing her down to her seat again. Sit still, and I will try and tell you. I have made a great deal of the fatigue I felt after my journey— Mrs. Well, what of that? But that isn't what is the matter. It is no ordinary fatigue— Mrs. Alving trying to get up. You are not ill, Oswald! Oswald pulling her down again.
Do take it quietly. I am not exactly ill—not ill in the usual sense. Takes his head in his hands. Mother, it's my mind that has broken down—gone to pieces—I shall never be able to work anymore! Buries his face in his hands and throws himself at her knees in an outburst of sobs. Alving pale and trembling. No, no, it isn't true! Oswald looking up with a distracted expression. Never to be able to work anymore! Mother, can you imagine anything so horrible!
My poor unhappy boy? How has this terrible thing happened? Oswald sitting up again.
That is just what I cannot possibly understand. I have never lived recklessly, in any sense. You must believe that of me, mother, I have never done that. I haven't a doubt of it, Oswald. And yet this comes upon me all the same; this terrible disaster! Oh, but it will all come right again, my dear precious boy. It is nothing but overwork. Believe me, that is so. I thought so too, at first; but it isn't so. Tell me all about it. When did you first feel anything? It was just after I had been home last time and had got back to Paris.
I began to feel the most violent pains in my head- -mostly at the back, I think. It was as if a tight band of iron was pressing on me from my neck upwards.
At first I thought it was nothing but the headaches I always used to be so much troubled with while I was growing. But it wasn't; I soon saw that. I couldn't work any longer. I would try and start some big new picture; but it seemed as if all my faculties had forsaken me, as if all my strengths were paralysed.
I couldn't manage to collect my thoughts; my head seemed to swim—everything went round and round. It was a horrible feeling! At last I sent for a doctor—and from him I learned the truth.
In what way, do you mean? He was one of the best doctors there. He made me describe what I felt, and then he began to ask me a whole heap of questions which seemed to me to have nothing to do with the matter. I couldn't see what he was driving at— Mrs. At last he said: What did he mean by that? I couldn't understand, either—and I asked him for a clearer explanation, And then the old cynic said— clenching his fist.
What did he say? Alving getting up slowly. The sins of the fathers—! I nearly struck him in the face. Alving walking across the room. Naturally I assured him that what he thought was impossible. But do you think he paid any heed to me? No, he persisted in his opinion; and it was only when I got out your letters and translated to him all the passages that referred to my father— Mrs. Well, then of course he had to admit that he was on the wrong track; and then I learned the truth— the incomprehensible truth!
I ought to have had nothing to do with the joyous happy life I had lived with my comrades. It had been too much for my strength. So it was my own fault! Don't believe that— Oswald. There was no other explanation of it possible, he said. That is the most horrible part of it. My whole life incurably ruined—just because of my own imprudence. Throws himself on his face on the couch. Oswald looks up after a while, raising himself on his elbows.
If only it had been something I had inherited—something I could not help. But, instead of that, to have disgracefully, stupidly, thoughtlessly thrown away one's happiness, one's health, everything in the world—one's future, one's life!
No, no, my darling boy; that is impossible! Things are not so desperate as you think.
Ah, you don't know— Springs up. And to think, mother, that I should bring all this sorrow upon you! Many a time I have almost wished and hoped that you really did not care so very much for me.
All that I have in the world! The only thing I care about! Oswald taking hold of her hands and kissing them. Yes, yes, I know that is so. When I am at home I know that is true. And that is one of the hardest parts of it to me.
But now you know all about it; and now we won't talk anymore about it today. I can't stand thinking about it long at a time. Walks across the room. Let me have something to drink, mother! What do you want? Oh, anything you like. I suppose you have got some punch in the house. Yes, but my dear Oswald—! Don't tell me I mustn't, mother.
I must have something to drown these gnawing thoughts. Goes into the conservatory. And how—how gloomy it is here! And this incessant rain. It may go on week after week- -a whole month.
Never a ray of sunshine. I don't remember ever having seen the sunshine once when I have been at home. Oswald—you are thinking of going away from me! I am not thinking about anything. I can't think about anything! In a low voice. I have to let that alone. Regina coming from the dining-room.
Did you ring, ma'am? Yes, let us have the lamp in. In a moment, ma'am; it is all ready lit. Oswald, don't keep anything back from me. Goes to the table.
It seems to me I have told you a good lot. Regina, you might bring us a small bottle of champagne. Oswald taking hold of his mother's face. That's right; I knew my mother wouldn't let her son go thirsty. My poor dear boy, how could I refuse you anything now?
Is that true, mother? Do you mean it? That you couldn't deny me anything? My dear Oswald— Oswald. REGINA brings in a tray with a small bottle of champagne and two glasses, which she puts on the table.
Shall I open the bottle? No, thank you, I will do it. Mrs, Alving sitting down at the table. What did you mean, when you asked if I could refuse you nothing? Oswald busy opening the bottle. Let us have a glass first—or two. He draws the cork, fills one glass and is going to fill the other. Alving holding her hand over the second glass No, thanks— not for me. Oh, well, for me then! He empties his glass, fills it again and empties it; then sits down at the table.
Oswald without looking at her. Tell me this; I thought you and Mr. Manders seemed so strange—so quiet—at dinner. Did you notice that? After a short pause. Tell me—what do you think of Regina? What do I think of her? Yes, isn't she splendid! Dear Oswald, you don't know her as well as I do— Oswald. Regina was too long at home, unfortunately. I ought to have taken her under my charge sooner.
Yes, but isn't she splendid to look at, mother?UBC Players Club's Oswald interview from Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen
Fills his glass, Mrs. Regina has many serious faults— Oswald. Yes, but what of that? But I am fond of her, all the same; and I have made myself responsible for her.
I wouldn't for the world she should come to any harm. Mother, Regina is my only hope of salvation! I can't go on bearing all this agony of mind alone. Alving, Haven't you your mother to help you to bear it? Yes, I thought so; that was why I came home to you. But it is no use; I see that it isn't. I cannot spend my life here. I must live a different sort of life, mother; so I shall have to go away from you, I don't want you watching it. But, Oswald, as long as you are ill like this— Oswald.
If it was only a matter of feeling ill, I would stay with you, mother. You are the best friend I have in the world. Yes, I am that, Oswald, am I not? Oswald walking restlessly about.
But all this torment—the regret, the remorse—and the deadly fear. Oh, don't ask me any more about it. I don't know what it is. I can't put it into words.
I want my boy to be happy, that's what I want. He mustn't brood over anything. More champagne— a large bottle. Do you think we country people don't know how to live? Isn't she splendid to look at? And the picture of health! Alving sitting down at the table. Sit down, Oswald, and let us have a quiet talk.
You don't know, mother, that I owe Regina a little reparation. Oh, it was only a little thoughtlessness—call it what you like. Something quite innocent, anyway. The last time I was home— Mrs.
And I remember saying one day: I saw her blush, and she said: I naturally had forgotten all about it; but the day before yesterday I happened to ask her if she was glad I was to be so long at home— Mrs. And then I got it out of her that she had taken the thing seriously, and had been thinking about me all the time, and had set herself to learn French— Mrs.
So that was why— Oswald. Mother—when I saw this fine, splendid, handsome girl standing there in front of me—I had never paid any attention to her before then—but now, when she stood there as if with open arms ready for me to take her to myself— Mrs. The joy of life—? Is there salvation in that? Regina coming in from the dining-room with a bottle of champagne.