Analysis of August Strindberg’s Plays

Tremendously influential in both Europe and the United States, August Strindberg (22 January 1849 – 14 May 1912) was begrudgingly praised by Henrik Ibsen as one who would be greater than he, and more generously lauded half a century later by Eugene O’Neill as the writer to whom the American playwright owed his greatest debt. Although Strindberg wrote some seventy dramatic pieces, he is best known outside his native Sweden for a small number of plays that represent the range of his achievement. Of these, The Father, Miss Julie, A Dream Play, and The Ghost Sonata have earned for Strindberg his stature alongside Ibsen, Anton Chekhov, and George Bernard Shaw as a seminal figure in the first stage (1880-1920) of modern drama.


Strindberg’s intensity and versatility are generally considered as much a product of his own neuroses as of his literary genius. The turbulent male-female relationships that his plays portray are commonly accepted as the playwright’s expression of his own ambivalent feelings toward women, just as his treatment of the class conflict would seem to have its impulse in his domestic position as “the son of a servant.” His late, expressionistic plays, written after a period of intense despair and nonproductivity, reflect the emphasis on atonement that characterizes Strindberg’s later writing.

Aside from the provocative autobiographical content of his work, however, Strindberg’s achievement rests on his perfection of the naturalistic form, his extension of that form into an imaginative forum for modern psychology, and his movement from dramatic realism to expressionism.

Most of Strindberg’s plays that were translated into English and published early in the century are no longer in print. There are, however, a number of more recent translations that have appeared in collections, including, among others, Elizabeth Sprigge’s Six Plays (1955), Arvid Paulson’s Eight Expressionist Plays (1965), and the translations of Strindberg’s drama by Walter Johnson.

Because August Strindberg’s drama falls into two distinct periods, separated by the years of his personal Inferno, it is easy to generalize about his work. The pre-Inferno plays are naturalistic in form and are insistently concerned with sexual and class struggles bringing to the philosophy of naturalism a psychological realism that validates his characters as among the most excitingly credible in modern drama. The post-Inferno plays reflect Strindberg’s experience with mysticism and a variety of religions, along with his preoccupation in later life with guilt, expiation, and reconciliation. These plays are important especially for the ways in which they extend the boundaries of dramatic form, introducing expressionism and Symbolism into the mainstream of world drama.

Strindberg’s early plays reflect the literary preoccupation of the time with the philosophy of naturalism, which holds forces beyond the control of the individual will responsible for human behavior yet also poses the question of individual choice. The resulting complexity of character allowed Strindberg to approach with renewed intensity the two conflicts that for him both personally and artistically were never resolved.

Though Strindberg’s work was published as early as 1869, The Father, produced and published in 1887, is considered the first of his great naturalistic plays. In that play, as in a number of others that followed, Strindberg dramatizes a major concern of his life and work: the eternal power struggle between men and women. Laura stands as a prototypical Strindbergian woman: immensely powerful and in control yet perhaps not so by design. The play does not clarify whether Laura’s triumph over her husband is the consequence of malevolent cunning or of an innocent but nevertheless destructive wielding of a natural female power. That same power is evident in the relationship between Miss Julie and Jean in Miss Julie, in which the sexual encounter between mistress and servant is initiated through Julie’s aggression, though here the male ultimately achieves superiority as Julie endures postcoital humiliation and finally commits suicide. A concurrent struggle in Miss Julie, which is a second preoccupation of Strindberg, is that between the classes. Julie may be seduced to her death by Jean, but she reestablishes class honor, whereas the intimidated servant reverts to subservience.

Strindberg’s personal conflicts were to expand during the Inferno period and were reflected in the religious and historical plays produced between 1897 and 1901. In those years, the playwright turned to mysticism and allegory, as in the Damascus trilogy. During this period, he also devoted considerable attention to Swedish history, dramatizing the lives of its people and several of its kings in such plays as The Saga of the Folkungs, Gustav Vasa, Gustav Adolf, and Carl XII. In The Dance of Death I and The Dance of Death II, he confirmed that his obsession with the battle of the sexes was still alive.

Strindberg’s most interesting work, however, comes with his later plays, which attempt to capture the dream form in drama. In both A Dream Play and The Ghost Sonata, his two most successful efforts, the playwright violates the laws of causality and logic, creating a fluid and subjective sequence of events that is dominated by the vision of an implied dreamer. In A Dream Play, the Daughter of Indra visits Earth and both observes and participates in the activities of those she encounters. In The Ghost Sonata, a young student passes through several rooms in a symbolic house en route to an encounter with a symbolic hyacinth girl. In the earlier play, the recurrent lament of the Daughter of Indra is, “Humankind is to be pitied,” reflecting the deep sadness of the playwright, who had been through several religious conversions and had himself seen the condition of humankind. In The Ghost Sonata, a similar pessimism prevails but is redeemed in that play by a final tone of reconciliation. A statue of Buddha in the inner room suggests the religious preoccupation and the need to reconcile good and evil that characterizes Strindberg’s post-Inferno plays.

The Father

Strindberg once remarked that he did not know whether The Father was an invention or a reflection of his own life. The play, in which a man is driven mad by doubts concerning his parenthood, was written at a time when Strindberg’s marriage to Siri von Essen was near collapse. Like the Captain in The Father, Strindberg was haunted by the knowledge that a man can never know with certainty that he is his child’s father, as his suspicions of Siri developed into an obsession with whether he had fathered their first child, born two months after the wedding.

The sexual power struggle that takes place between husband and wife when the two disagree on the future of their daughter, Bertha, forms the dramatic center of the play. Determined to have her way, Laura, the Captain’s wife, devises ways of undermining her husband’s credibility and confidence. Her goal is to have the Captain certified insane so that he loses his legal claim to their daughter. Her method is psychological torment: Only she, not he, can know whether Bertha is his natural child. Made suspicious by her suggestion, the Captain becomes obsessed with the need to know, devising biological, experiential, and literary tests to affirm his paternity, only to be driven to madness by the impossibility of knowing. In the final tableau, the straitjacketed Captain, surrounded by the women in the household, lies helpless at the nurse’s breast, repudiating his child, then falling in a fatal stroke; his wife, embracing Bertha, cries, “My child! My own child!”

Laura’s manipulations are not less effective than those of an Iago, and she emerges as uncontested champion in this domestic duel of wills. Yet the play—and she herself— question how conscious her manipulations have been.Moments before the Captain’s defeat, Laura claims that she never meant for any of this to happen, that she never thought through her behavior to its consequence. Allusions throughout the play to Omphale and to other women in classical literature suggest that for Strindberg, Laura represents a prototypical evil, a curiously innocent power that is uniquely and naturally feminine. Laura achieves control less by design than by instinct.

In a letter to Friedrich Nietzsche, Strindberg reported the reaction to the production of his play: One woman died, another miscarried, and most of the audience ran from the theater, bellowing. Strindberg’s hyperbole, though obviously intended to be frivolous, nevertheless reflects the excitement generated by this highly personal but powerful portrayal of women and of marriage.

Miss Julie

The best known of Strindberg’s plays, Miss Julie takes place on a midsummer eve in Sweden. In the absence of her father, a nobleman, the twenty-five-year-old Julie, a member of Strindberg’s degenerate, emancipated “third sex,” initiates a psychological battle with Jean, the valet, that culminates in his sexual triumph. The battle, however, is a social conflict as well, and, in a dramatic suicide-seduction scene, Julie regains her social honor, leaving Jean to tremble at the return of her father, the count. Throughout their encounter, the sexual and social lines separating the two shift, as each lives out the respective dreams of rising and falling that unify the work’s images and give dramatic design to the play.

Jean’s dream is one of aspiration: He is lying under a tree in a thick and darkened wood; he wants to climb to the top of the tree to look out over the brightly lit landscape and rob a bird’s nest of its golden eggs. Despite persistent climbing, however, he never arrives at the first branch, much less the top. When Jean was younger, he once found himself in a compromising position. A servant who had no business being in the gentry’s outhouse (the Turkish pavilion), Jean avoided discovery by leaving through the sewer, only to surface to spy Julie, in pink dress and white stockings, standing in the fields. Since that time, he has been symbolically cleansing himself of the dirt and excrement that characterize his servile status, hoping to become proprietor of a Swiss hotel and, eventually, a Rumanian count.

Julie’s dream is one of degradation and fall. She is on top of a pillar, longing to descend to the ground, but she does not have the courage to jump. The daughter of an aristocratic father and a common but feminist mother, Julie has developed a hostility toward men (she forces her fiancé to jump over her slashing whip) and an attraction to the servant class. At the Midsummer Eve’s festivity, both she and Jean find occasion to act out their perversities and temporarily realize their dreams.

Jean’s aspiration and Julie’s desire to fall meet in an offstage sexual consummation, signaled onstage by the crescendo of the sounds of the reveling peasants. When the couple emerge from Jean’s bedroom, it is clear that Jean is in control. Just as Julie had flaunted her superiority before the sexual act, Jean flaunts his now, ruthlessly abusing the younger woman by refusing to be tender and by calling her a whore. Yet any sense of triumph or defeat is neutralized by the couple’s awareness of the consequences of their act; the two plan their departure for Switzerland, Jean to start his hotel, Julie to escape her shame.

Julie reappears in traveling clothes, a smudge of dirt on her face, her pet bird in hand. Asserting his masculine strength, Jean refuses to let Julie take the bird along, decapitating it as Julie expresses a brutal death wish for the entire male sex. Recovering from the fantasy that allowed her hope, she urges Jean to seduce her into killing herself. Jean’s dream of self-advancement dissipates as Julie, in her willingness to die to atone for the sacrifice of her honor, endorses an aristocratic principle of reputation and personal integrity that the servant cannot understand. Julie’s social victory is affirmed when Jean flinches at the sound of the bell announcing the count’s return.

In his preface to the play, Strindberg identifies the factors that were responsible for Julie’s tragic fate, including her parents’ and her fiancé’s characters, the mood of the Midsummer Eve, the urgency of the sexually aroused Jean, Julie’s “monthly indisposition,” chance, and other biological and environmental conditions. Strindberg’s analysis of Julie’s behavior reflects the extent to which the playwright incorporated into the play the naturalistic philosophy first given literary expression by novelist Émile Zola. As Strindberg himself notes in the preface, however, Miss Julie also includes a psychological dimension that implies Julie’s complicity in her fate.

Because it articulates the philosophy of naturalistic drama and suggests both the psychological and the expressionistic, Strindberg’s preface has become one of the most widely reprinted statements of modern dramatic theory. Similarly, Miss Julie, as the dramatic representation of that theory, and as an emotionally and intellectually engaging play as well, has become an acknowledged masterpiece of world drama.

A Dream Play

An example of Strindberg’s post-Inferno work, A Dream Play replaces the causal structure of the early naturalistic plays with a loosely constructed series of events that approximate the form of a dream. Though seemingly random, spontaneous, and formless, the action of the play is carefully contrived to re-create the unconscious and reveal inner truth. A Dream Play is an astonishing foray into expressionistic drama that testifies to Strindberg’s quest for a form to accommodate the polyphonic thinking that characterizes his later work.

A Dream Play has a cast of thirty-nine, as well as a sizable number of walk-on performers. Its central character is the supernatural Daughter of Indra, who visits Earth both as an observer and as a participant. As emissary of her father, she is to report back to him on whether human complaint is justified; as a result of her sojourn, she concludes that humankind is to be pitied.

The Daughter of Indra’s earthly enterprise first brings her in contact with an imprisoned officer, whom she frees from punishing labor, and then with the officer’s family, whom she observes as the mother, preparing for death, saddens her husband by offering a servant the shawl that he once gave her. The Daughter of Indra’s preliminary judgment is that humankind is to be pitied, but that love conquers all. In an alley leading to the opera house, the Daughter of Indra witnesses the disappointments of auditioning opera singers, who tell their troubles to the doorkeeper, who wears the mother’s shawl. Roses in hand, the officer awaits Miss Victoria, who never appears. In the alley, there is a locked door with a cloverleaf cutout that presumably shields the mysteries of life, but a court order is needed to open it.

In a lawyer’s office, a white-faced divorce attorney, sitting in the stench of crime, prompts the Daughter of Indra’s judgment. The office is transformed into a church, where a commencement ceremony, presided over by four deans of the faculties, is in progress. When the lawyer steps forward to receive his laurels, he receives only a crown of thorns. Unable to understand the cries for mercy that surround the lawyer or the tears dropping to the pavement, the Daughter of Indra offers to marry the lawyer to test the redemptive power of love, marriage, and home.

Yet in the next scene, she is a poor, tired housewife, cooking over a hot stove while the baby screams. Announcing that he now has his degree, the lawyer offers to take his wife to Fairhaven, where the world is more pleasant. By mistake, however, they wind up in Foulstrand, a contemporary inferno, to be greeted by the Quarantine Master and an assortment of miserable people. A dragon boat arrives with newlyweds at the helm, but the blissful couple kill themselves. At Fairhaven, strains of a Johann Sebastian Bach toccata and a waltz conflict to ruin the dance, while at a Mediterranean resort, two men shovel coal in the heat, complaining of their misfortune.

Finally, at Fingal’s Cave, or Indra’s Ear, the Daughter of Indra again encounters the poet whom she first met at Foulstrand, and here she invokes the Kingdom of Heaven and speaks of what she has learned, asking, with the poet, why humankind must be so miserable. Though much time has passed since her descent to Earth, a telescoping now takes place that transports the Daughter of Indra back to the opera house and the cloverleaf stage door. She listens as the deans of the faculties quarrel over whether it should be opened, then watches as it swings ajar to reveal nothing.

The Daughter of Indra returns to the Growing Castle that had appeared on her descent and prepares to return to the ethereal world. As she offers her assessment of the divided nature of humankind, promising to carry the world’s lamentations to her father’s throne, the Castle bursts into flame, revealing a wall of human faces in despair, and, finally, a chrysanthemum. The Daughter of Indra departs, leaving behind the poet, the one visionary capable of articulating the coexistence of misery and joy that is the story of humankind.

Influenced by Indian religion and Oriental philosophy, Strindberg envisions the world in this play as a mirage, caught in the eternal conflict between spirit and form. In a diary entry made two days before he completed the play, Strindberg equated love with sin, remarking on the paradox that the world (if it exists at all) exists through sin, making life an endless vacillation between “the pleasures of love and the agony of penance.” A Dream Play remained unproduced for five years after it was published in 1902, finally seeing production during the same year in which The Ghost Sonata was published.


The Ghost Sonata

The Ghost Sonata is one of Strindberg’s chamber plays, so named for their intimacy, their lyricism, and their simplicity of theme. Like chamber music, the chamber plays were designed for small audiences, particularly those at Strindberg’s Intimate Theater. Like A Dream Play, The Ghost Sonata is abstract in form, presenting a series of images suggestive of a dream.

The dominant consciousness in the play is a student named Arkenholz, who progresses through the symbolic episodes of the dream until he acquires understanding, at which point the dream ends through his awakening. While he is in the dream, Arkenholz is poet-seeker, possessing exceptional acuity of perception. He is limited, however, by an equally powerful, ambivalently evil old man named Hummel, who guides Arkenholz into a house in which strange and symbolic characters reside. In the deepest room of the house is the Hyacinth Girl, the vision of beauty and love that the student cannot resist.

Arkenholz’s mythic quest begins at the facade of the building, where he encounters a milkmaid and Hummel, an old man in a wheelchair who tells him that by sitting through a Richard Wagner opera he will gain entrance to the house. Excited by Arkenholz’s fondness for the house, Hummel identifies its inhabitants: the colonel who beats his wife; the marble statue of the colonel’s wife, who is now a mummy; the Lady in Black; the dead consul; the decrepit fiancé, who is mad; the caretaker’s wife; and, in the Hyacinth Room, the Girl.

Once inside, the student observes the unnatural coterie in the Round Room, where he witnesses Hummel’s inhumane treatment of the colonel and hears of a network of sexual relationships as the residents of the house gather for their ritual supper. The student pauses for introductions to the mummy, who comes out of her closet squawking like a parrot, and to the marble statue of her youthful form, while Hummel, who has fathered the woman’s child, hangs himself in the closet. Without his guide, Arkenholz continues his journey into the timeless world of the Hyacinth Room, in which the clock that stood prominently on the mantle in the Round Room and strikes to signal the last minutes of the old man’s life is replaced by a statue of the Buddha.

The Hyacinth Girl turns out to be an emaciated woman, drained of her strength by a vampire cook who boils the nourishment out of the meat, but the student is awed by her beauty. When she hears that Arkenholz wants to marry her, the Hyacinth Girl reveals the secrets of the house, transforming his vision of innocence and beauty into a lamentation, then a plea for redemption. As the student begins to awaken from his dream, he speaks of what he has learned, reconciling the woe that he has discovered and the innocence in which he had believed.

A “world of intimations,” suggestively inviting its readers into its seemingly strange but curiously familiar landscape, The Ghost Sonata is a richly evocative vision of guilt and expiation, of innocence and evil, that extends to all humankind. Strindberg claimed that writing the play was a painful experience, that he hardly knew himself what he had written, but that he felt in it the sublime.

Principal drama
Fritänkaren, pb. 1870; I Rom, pr., pb. 1870; Den fredlöse, pr. 1871, pb. 1876 (The Outlaw, 1912); Hermione, pb. 1871; Anno fyrtioåtta, wr. 1876, pb. 1881; Mäster Olof, pb. 1878, pr. 1890 (Master Olof, 1915); Gillets hemlighet, pr., pb. 1880; Herr Bengts hustru, pr., pb. 1882; Lycko-Pers resa, pr., pb. 1883 (Lucky Peter’s Travels, 1912); Fadren, pr., pb. 1887 (The Father, 1899); Marodörer, pr. 1887; Fröken Julie, pb. 1888, pr. 1889 (Miss Julie, 1912); Kamraterna, pb. 1888, pr. 1905 (with Axel Lundegård; Comrades, 1912); Fordringsägare, pb. in Danish 1888, pr. 1889, pb. 1890 (Creditors, 1910); Hemsöborna, pr. 1889, pb. 1905 (adaptation of his novel); Paria, pr. 1889, pb. 1890 (Pariah, 1913); Den starkare, pr. 1889, pb. 1890 (The Stronger, 1912); Samum, pr., pb. 1890 (Simoom, 1906); Himmelrikets nycklar, eller Sankte Per vandrar på jorden, pb. 1892, pr. 1929 (The Keys of Heaven, 1965); Moderskärlek, pb. 1893, pr. 1894 (Mother Love, 1910); Bandet, pb. in German 1893, pb. 1897, pr. 1902 (The Bond, 1960); Debet och kredit, pb. 1893, pr. 1900 (Debit and Credit, 1906); Första varningen, pr., pb. 1893 (The First Warning, 1915); Inför döden, pr., pb. 1893 (In the Face of Death, 1916); Leka med elden, pb. 1893, pr. in German 1893, pr. 1897 (Playing with Fire, 1930); Till Damaskus, forsta delen, pb. 1898, pr. 1900 (To Damascus I, 1913); Till Damaskus, andra delen, pb. 1898, pr. 1916 (To Damascus II, 1913); Advent, ett mysterium, pb. 1899, pr. 1915 (Advent, 1912); Brott och Brott, pb. 1899, pr. 1900 (Crime and Crime, 1913; also known as There Are Crimes and Crimes); Erik XIV, pr., pb. 1899 (English translation, 1931); Folkungasagan, pb. 1899, pr. 1901 (The Saga of the Folkungs, 1931); Gustav Vasa, pr., pb. 1899 (English translation, 1916); Gustav Adolf, pb. 1900, pr. 1903 (English translation, 1957); Carl XII, pb. 1901, pr. 1902 (Charles XII, 1955); Dödsdansen, första delen, pb. 1901, pr. 1905 (The Dance of Death I, 1912); Dödsdansen, andra delen, pb. 1901, pr. 1905 (The Dance of Death II, 1912); Engelbrekt, pr., pb. 1901 (English translation, 1949); Kaspers fet-tisdag, pr. 1901, pb. 1915; Kristina, pb. 1901, pr. 1908 (Queen Christina, 1955); Midsommar, pr., pb. 1901 (Midsummertide, 1912); Påsk, pr., pb. 1901 (Easter, 1912); Ett drömspel, pb. 1902, pr. 1907 (A Dream Play, 1912); Halländarn, wr. 1902, pb. 1918, pr. 1923; Kronbruden, pb. 1902, pr. 1906 (The Bridal Crown, 1916); Svanevit, pb. 1902, pr. 1908 (Swanwhite, 1914); Genom öknar till arvland, eller Moses, wr. 1903, pb. 1918, pr. 1922 (Through Deserts to Ancestral Lands, 1970); Gustav III, pb. 1903, pr. 1916 (English translation, 1955); Lammet och vilddjuret: Eller, Kristus, wr. 1903, pb. 1918, pr. 1922 (The Lamb and the Beast, 1970); Näktergalen i Wittenberg, pb. 1904, pr. 1914 (The Nightingale of Whittenberg, 1970); Till Damaskus, tredje delen, pb. 1904, pr. 1916 (To Damascus III, 1913); Brända tomten, pr., pb. 1907 (After the Fire, 1913); Oväder, pr., pb. 1907 (Storm, 1913); Pelikanen, pr., pb. 1907 (The Pelican, 1962); Spöksonaten, pb. 1907, pr. 1908 (The Ghost Sonata, 1916); Abu Casems tofflor, pr., pb. 1908; Bjälbo-Jarlen, pr., pb. 1909 (Earl Birger of Bjälbo, 1956); Riksföreståndaren, pb. 1909, pr. 1911 (The Regent, 1956); Siste riddaren, pr., pb. 1909 (The Last of the Knights, 1956); Stora landsvägen, pb. 1909, pr. 1910 (The Great Highway, 1954); Svarta handsken, pb. 1909, pr. 1911 (The Black Glove, 1916); Hellas: Eller, Sokrates, pb. 1918, pr. 1922 (Hellas, 1970); Toten-Insel: Eller, Hades, pb. 1918 (Isle of the Dead, 1962); Six Plays, pb. 1955; Eight Expressionist Plays, pb. 1965.

Other major works
Long fiction: Från Fjärdingen och Svartbäcken, 1877; Röda rummet, 1879 (The Red Room, 1913); Jäsningstiden, 1886 (The Growth of the Soul, 1914); Hemsöborna, 1887 (The Natives of Hemsö, 1959); Tschandala, in Danish 1889, in Swedish 1897; I havsbandet, 1890 (By the Open Sea, 1913); Le Plaidoyer d’un fou, 1893 in German, 1895 in Swedish (A Madman’s Defense, 1912, also known as The Confession of a Fool ); Inferno, 1897 (English translation, 1912); Ensam, 1903 (Alone, 1968); Götiska rummen, 1904; Svarta fanor, 1907; Taklagsöl, 1907; Syndabocken, 1907 (The Scapegoat, 1967); Författaren, 1909.
Short fiction: Giftas I, 1884; Svenska öden och äventyr, 1882-1892; Giftas II, 1886 (Married, 1913; also known as Getting Married, 1973; includes Giftas I and Giftas II); Utopier i verkligheten, 1885; Skärkarlsliv, 1888; Legender, 1898 (Legends, 1912); Fagervik och Skamsund, 1902 (Fair Haven and Foul Strand, 1913); Sagor, 1903 (Tales, 1930); Historiska miniatyrer, 1905 (Historical Miniatures, 1913).
Poetry: Dikter och verkligheter, 1881; Dikter på vers och prosa, 1883; Sömngångarnätter på vakna dagar, 1884.
Nonfiction: Gamla Stockholm, 1880; Det nya riket, 1882; Svenska folket i helg och söcken, krig och fred, hemma och ute eller Ett tusen år av svenska bildningens och sedernas historia, 1882; Tjänstekvinnans son: En s äls utvecklingshistoria, 1886 (4 volumes; The Son of a Servant: The Story of the Evolution of a Human Being, 1966, volume 1 only); Vivisektioner, 1887; Blomstermalningar och djurstycken, 1888; Bland franska bönder, 1889; Antibarbarus, 1896; Jardin des plantes, 1896; Svensk natur, 1897; Världshistoriens mystik, 1903; Modersmålets anor, 1910; Religiös renässans, 1910; Folkstaten, 1910-1911; Tal till svenska nationen, 1910-1911; Världsspråkens rötter, 1910; Oppna brev till Intima Teatern, 1911-1912 (Open Letters to the Intimate Theater, 1959); Zones of the Spirit: A Book of Thoughts, 1913.

Carlson, Harry Gilbert. Out of “Inferno”: Strindberg’s Reawakening as an Artist. Seattle: University ofWashington Press, 1996.
Ekman, Hans-Göran. Strindberg and the Five Senses: Studies in Strindberg’s Chamber Plays. Somerset, N.J.: Transaction, 2000.
Marker, Frederick J., and Christopher Innes, eds. Modernism in European Drama: Ibsen, Strindberg, Pirandello, Beckett: Essays from Modern Drama. Buffalo, N.Y.: University of Toronto Press, 1998.
Martinus, Eivor. Strindberg and Love. Charlbury, Oxford, England: Amber Lane Press, 2001.
Robinson, Michael. Studies in Strindberg. Norwich: Norvik Press, 1998.
Robinson, Michael, and Sven Hakon Rossel, eds. Expressionism and Modernism: New Approaches to August Strindberg. Vienna: Edition Praesens, 1999.
Törnqvist, Egil. Strindberg’s “The Ghost Sonata” from Text to Performance. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2000.

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