© 2014-2015 Klincksieck. Tous droits réservés pour tous pays. Considered as the incarnation of an outdated realism Ibsen & #39;s theatre has often been opposed to forms apparently more modern or modernistic like Artaud & #39;s, Brecht & #39;s or Becektt & #39;s. The idea that realism is a naively transparent form of representing the world, a form that has since been overruled by more refl exive modes of writing, underlies this judgement. In reality this opposition is untenable and Ibsen & #39;s realism is a modernism full of refl ections on theatre and theatrality as well. Ibsen & #39;s realist plays shocked his contemporaries not so much because of their realism but because of their anti-idealism. The disputes over naturalism caused by a play like Ghosts were in the end disputes over idealism. Literary history of the second half of the 19th century can be viewed as a long battle between dying idealism and rising modernism in which Ibsen & #39;s plays took a determining part.