ated by reference to Derrida’s play of signifiers; section (3) examines When We Dead Waken as part of progressive statement on the role of the artist; finally, the dissertation concludes by considering the unifying characteristics of the plays, and the broader role of post-structural thought. It’s argued that not only is Ibsen one of the primary fathers of Modern Drama, but that specific elements in his oeuvre – Gynt’s conversation with the Boyg, the signification of the ‘wild duck’ – demand a post-structural lens to approach comprehension. When possible, contemporary post-structural scholarship has been incorporated into the dissertation. These plays have been chosen for their resistance to traditional critical approaches. Less emphasis has been placed on developing an inter-textual framework between the plays, as it’s believed such an approach is better suited to a more comprehensive selection. If there is an underlining theme that emerged in the construction of the dissertation it is that the art object anticipates the critical framework needed to adequately articulate its textual functions. That is, traditional Ibsen scholarship was handicapped by an inability to articulate elements of the plays that the post-structural framework, albeit flawed, contributes newfound insight.
In keeping with a great amount of post-structural discursivity the essay establishes a methodological framework that is not restricted to an overarching narrative. In the examination of three seminal texts – Peer Gynt, Wild Duck, and When We Dead Awaken -- a myriad of post-structural lenses, including those of Jacques Derrida, Julia Kristeva, Jacques Lacan, and Paul De Man, are coupled with what Foucault (2006) terms ‘founders of discursivity,’ Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx. In refining a critical understanding of these ideas, this dissertation is highly indebted to Professor of English at Yale University, Paul H. Fry, whose open-access Survey of the Theory of