Famous People's Dreams Playwright Henrik Ibsen

About the dreams of the famous playwright Henrik Ibsen and his All is Vanity dream.


Well-Known Persons Record Their Dreams

Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906): "All Is Vanity"

While wandering on a high mountain range, myself and some friends, we became tired and then despondent, and were suddenly surprised by night. Like Jacob, we lay down to sleep and rested our heads on stones. . . .In a dream an angel appeared before me, saying, "Arise, and follow me." "Whither will you lead me in this darkness?" I asked, and received the reply: "Come, I will reveal to you human existence in its true reality." Full of foreboding, I followed my guide and we descended a number of steep steps; and rocks towered above us like gigantic arches, while spread before us lay a vast city of death with horrible remnants and tokens of mortality and transient existence--a perished grandeur, an immense, sunken world of corpses, death's silent subjects. Over all hovered a withered, ghastly twilight that enveloped churchyards, graves, and sepulchers. In a stronger light, row upon row of white skeletons reflected a phosphorescent glow. A fear seized me as I stood by the angel's side.

"Here, you see, all is vanity," he said.

Then came a roar like that which heralds a storm, which grew to a raging hurricane so that the dead moved and stretched their arms towards me, and with a cry I awoke wet from the cold night-dew.

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