An Enemy of the People is a play by Henrik Ibsen. Ibsen wrote it in response to the public outcry against his previous play, Ghosts, which challenged the hypocrisy of 19th-century morality. The words "scandalous, degenerate," and "immoral" were hurled at both Ghosts and its author because it openly discussed adultery and syphilis. Therefore, An Enemy of the People tells the story of a man who dares to speak an unpalatable truth, and is punished for it. However, Ibsen took a somewhat skeptical view of his protagonist, suggesting that he may have gone too far in his zeal to tell the truth. Ibsen wrote to his publisher: "I am still uncertain as to whether I should call An Enemy of the People a comedy or a straight drama. It may have many traits of comedy, but it also is based on a serious idea.Henrik Ibsen was a playwright and theatre director. As one of the founders of modernism in theatre, Ibsen is often referred to as "the father of realism" and one of the most influential playwrights of his time. His major works include Brand, Peer Gynt, An Enemy of the People, Emperor and Galilean, A Doll's House, Hedda Gabler, Ghosts, The Wild Duck, When We Dead Awaken, Rosmersholm, and The Master Builder. He is the most frequently performed dramatist in the world after Shakespeare, and A Doll's House was the world's most performed play in 2006.Ibsen's early poetic and cinematic play Peer Gynt has strong surreal elements. After Peer Gynt Ibsen abandoned verse and wrote in realistic prose. Several of his later dramas were considered scandalous to many of his era, when European theatre was expected to model strict morals of family life and propriety. Ibsen's later work examined the realities that lay behind the facades, revealing much that was disquieting to a number of his contemporaries. He had a critical eye and conducted a free inquiry into the conditions of life and issues of morality.