An Enemy of the People
by Henrik Ibsen
An Enemy of the People Principles 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: "As I said, I believe you exaggerate the matter considerably. A capable physician […] ought to be capable […] of preventing injurious influences or of remedying them if they become obviously persistent. […] "
Dr. Stockmann: "it would be a trick--a fraud, a lie, a downright crime towards the public, towards the whole community!" (2.216-2.221)
The Mayor is basically asking his brother to cover up any sicknesses that results from the contaminated water. Isn't that the opposite of what a doctor is supposed to do? Dr. Stockmann's medical ethics won't allow him to be party to such a thing. As a physician, he just can't in good conscience stand by and allow people to be infected.
Dr. Stockmann: "they have tried to rob me of my most elementary rights as a man […] to make a coward of me, to force me to put personal interests before my most sacred convictions." (3.44-3.46)
What do you think Stockmann means by his "most elementary rights as a man"? Freedom? The right to form one's own opinions? The right to fight for one's principals, perhaps?
Dr. Stockmann: "Because a man has a wife and children, is he not to be allowed proclaim the truth." (3.280)
This is a pretty good question. Is a person's first duty to his family, or is it more important to stand up for what he believes in? If one has to be sacrificed, which ought to go on the chopping block? What do you think?