Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Although much has been written about the plays of Henrik Ibsen and the novels of Thomas Hardy, there have been no notable comparisons of the works of the two men, perhaps because they wrote in the two different media. Another possible explanation is the fact that Ibsen is universally regarded as the father of modern drama, but Hardy's status-whether he is the last Victorian novelist or the first modern one-is disputed. It is the purpose of this paper to demonstrate, by comparison, that Hardy should very definitely be classed with the modern, realistic writers.

The final Chapter of this paper will draw together the ideas which may be logically concluded from the comparison of Ibsen and Hardy from a sociological point of view. The view was chosen because it provided the best way of demonstrating the modernity of Thomas Hardy, who should be considered not only as a great novelist but also as one of the leaders in the movement away from hypocrisy and toward realism in literature.