Brand – Henrik Ibsen (Part 3)

Book : Brand – Henrik Ibsen
Status – Read

This is my last foray into ‘Brand’, with a little selection of quotes from Act Three. I’d love to go into Act Four and Five but I don’t want to spoil anything!
So, here are the quotes, hope you enjoy.

“Brand: What the world calls love, I neither know nor want.
I know God’s love, which is neither weak nor mild.
It is hard, even unto the terror of death,
It’s caress is a scourge. What did God reply
In the olive grove when His Son lay in agony
And cried, and prayed :’Take this cup from me’?
Did He take the cup of pain from his lips?
No child; he had to drink it to dregs. “

“Brand: No man knows whom the judgment shall touch.
But it stands written in eternal letters of fire:
‘Be steadfast to the end!’ It is not enough
To bathe in the sweat of anguish; you must pass
Through the fire of torture. That you cannot
Will be forgiven; that you will not, never.”

“Brand: There goes a typical man of the people;
Full-blooded, right-thinking, well-meaning, energetic,
Jovial and just. And yet, no landslide, flood
Or hurricane, no famine, frost or plague
Does half the damage in a year that that man does.
How much spiritual aspiration
Has he not stifled at birth?..”

“Doctor: You want to resurrect an age that is dead.
You still preach the pact Jehovah
Made with man five thousand years ago.
Every generation must make its own pact with God.
Our generation is not to be scared by rods
Of fire, or by nurses’ tales about damned souls.
It’s first commandment, Brand, is: Be Humane.
Brand: Humane! That word that excuses all our weakness.
Was God humane towards Jesus Christ?”

Taken from ‘Brand’ by Henrik Ibsen, translated by Michael Meyer.
Available from Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Plays-Brand-Emperor-Galilean-Classics/dp/041360490X/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1248692456&sr=8-8

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2 thoughts on “Brand – Henrik Ibsen (Part 3)

  1. Jan says:

    Isn’t this an amazing passage from the play? It was so prophetic, given when Ibsen wrote it. In Ibsen’s day, the Churches (both Catholic and Protestant) were still very dogmatic, very harsh, very much in line with what Pastor Brand said. But the present reality is what the Doctor said…be humane, which has mostly shown the Divine to the door and ushered Him out. The resulting horizontal religion is mostly in decline now. Brand recognized this and it was his agony, I think: trying to hold on to something that was slipping away even while he watched.

    • niftybooks says:

      I agree, it is very modern, Ibsen almost saw what was going to happen!

      What Brand didn’t see, which was his downfall, was you can be humane while still living your faith. Love is something he didn’t know or understand, as he says.
      And in a way, Brand himself was still searching.. still looking for the answers, that’s why he struggled to teach them. Such an amazing character… there’s so many layers to him and his calling.

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