An Enemy of the People
by Henrik Ibsen
An Enemy of the People Hypocrisy Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue. We used R. Farquharson Sharp's translation.
Mayor Peter Stockmann: "I personally have no reason to bear any ill will to your paper, Mr. Hovstad." (1.27)
The Mayor and Hovstad are polite to each other's faces throughout the entire play. When the other isn't around, though, they talk all kinds of trash. Their hypocrisy is made even worse when they join forces later on against Dr. Stockmann.
Petra: "There is so much falsehood both at home and at school. At home one must not speak, and at school we have to stand and tell lies to the children." (1.204)
Petra enjoys teaching very much and feels like she's doing some good. However, if she tells her students what she really believes, she'll lose her job. She's trapped by the will and moral values of the majority. Petra is frustrated that society has turned her into a hypocrite.
Hovstad: "I am not a weathercock--and never will be." (3.82)
Just in case you don't know, a weathercock is one of those metal roosters that people used to put on top of roofs to see which way the wind was blowing. By denying that he's like a weathercock, Hovstad is saying that no matter what the winds may bring he sticks to his opinions. As we see very soon, he's totally full of it. He's one of the biggest weathercocks (hypocrites) in the entire play.