Before her marriage to Dr. Wangel, Ellida, his second wife, had promised herself to a sailor who had then disappeared. Years later as the play begins, Ellida's family life is strained. Her relations with her step daughters is poor; she has no child of her own. She seems unhappy with her life. Then the sailor reappears to make his claim on her promise. Faced wiht the decision of what to do, she persuades her husband that she must have the chance to make her choice.
This report prepared by Jack Goodstein