Rosmersholm is a play surrounding the deep and intense political and cultural change in Norway in the middle of the 1880s, a period during which the traditional ruling class were forced to relinquish their right to impose their ideals on the rest of society. We follow Johannes Rosmer, a pastor who has resigned from his position; Rebecca West, a woman who sees Rosmer's potential and believes she can help him to realize his dream of creating a world of "happy, noble people"; and Headmaster Kroll, Rosmer's former best friend.
At the opening of this late Shakespearean drama, Polixenes, the king of Bohemia, has been the longtime guest of Leontes and Hermione, the king and queen of Sicily. When the time comes for Polixenes to leave, Leontes urges him to stay longer. At first Polixenes refuses, but soon he yields to the entreaties of Hermione. His rapid change of mind convinces Leontes that the two are lovers and that Polixenes is the father of Hermione's unborn child.
In recent years, small Greece, often associated with ancient philosophers and marble ruins, whitewashed villages and cerulean seas, has been at the center of a debt crisis that has sown economic and social ruin, spurred panic in international markets, and tested Europe's decades-old project of forging a closer union. In The Full Catastrophe, James Angelos makes sense of the contrasting images of Greece, a nation both romanticized for its classical past and castigated for its dysfunctional present.