The League of Youth is a play by Henrik Ibsen finished in early May 1869. It was Ibsen's first play in colloquial prose and marks a turning point in his style towards realism and away from verse. It was widely considered Ibsen's most popular play in nineteenth-century Norway. Though rooted in serious events of the time, the play was lauded for its natural and witty dialogue, cynical humour and farcical intrigue. Taking a different tack than Ibsen's earlier political play The Pretenders, The League of Youth features a protagonist Stensgaard, who poses as a political idealist and gathers a new party around him, the 'League of Youth', and aims to eliminate corruption among the "old" guard and bring his new "young" group to power. In scheming to be elected, he immerses himself in social and sexual intrigue, culminating in such complexity that at the end of the play all the women whom he has at one time planned to marry reject him, his plans for election fail, and he is run out of town.
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