A Dream Play

A Dream Play ( Ett drömspel Swedish ) is a play by August Strindberg, published in 1902. The premiere of the piece was on 17 April 1907 Svenska Teatern in Stockholm. The German premiere took place on 17 March 1916 at the Theater in der Königgrätzer street in Berlin.


A dream game belongs to the chamber play The Ghost Sonata and the Damascus trilogy of the major works of his later creative period. In suggestive, imperceptibly merging part episodes of a drama station the tragedy of human life and searching is presented.


Protagonist is the daughter of the Indian god Indra, Agnes, who descends from compassion for the people on the earth. In ever-changing transformations and dreamlike sequences without actual dramatic action, she explores the possibilities and limitations of human existence. The pity of Agnes: "It's a shame about the people " ( " Det är synd om människorna " ) is the main subject of the piece. As an example, she meets different lifestyles: that of the officer, the pedantic lawyers, the poet. The failure and suffering of the characters wins a metaphysical dimension in which the meaning of life can only result from an unknowable, otherworldly context that weaves through the same current events dreamlike and mysterious. Thus the way of Agnes ends at a door in the theater corridor, behind which they believed the "solution of the world-riddle ". It turns out that behind the door is "nothing".

The riddle of the world remain unanswered; remains " ... a wall of questioning, grieving, desperate human faces ". Agnes vowed to carry reminiscent of Job action of the poet against the Creator God on their return to the throne of the Father.


In the suggestive power of language and poetry of the work is in the " compassion " and mutual identification and mirroring the figures - despite all the action and all suffering - suggests a meaning to life. Strindberg wrote the work one year after the publication of The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud.


  • Stockholm 1902
  • Stockholm 1916


  • Strindberg, August: A Dream Play, Reclam Stuttgart 1957 Translation: Willi Reich
  • Spectaculum 21, five modern plays, Frankfurt am Main 1974


  • A Dream Play, FRG 1959 (TV, directed by William Roth bread, with among others Inge Langen, Helmut Peine, Peter Schütte, Peter Arens, Tilla Durieux and Kurt Lieck )
  • A Dream Play, Sweden 1963 ( TV, directed by Ingmar Bergman )
  • A Dream Play, Sweden 1980 ( TV, directed by J. Berg streak )
  • Drömspel, Sweden / Norway 1994 ( Directed by: Unni Straume )

Musical settings

  • A. Reimann, A Dream Play (Opera; perf: Kiel 1965. )
  • M. Williamson, The Growing Castle (Opera; perf: Dynevorcastle, Wales in 1968. )
  • I. Lidholm, Ett drömspel (Opera; premiere: Stockholm 1992)