Mohga Hassib


The purpose of this thesis is to provide a new approach to the existential dilemma of the self in crisis as it emerges in three modern plays. While scrutinizing how a person can remain human in a universe filled with obstacles, I show that the idea of the life crisis provides the most suitable approach to that predicament. The idea of the life crisis allows for a comprehensive approach when applied to the various quandaries that situate the shifting idea of freedom. In this thesis, the philosophical ideas of Soren Kierkegaard, John-Paul Sartre, and Albert Camus will be taken up to demonstrate the role of the life crisis in Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull, Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, and Tawfiq al-Hakim’s The Tree Climber. In focusing on the life crisis as it emerges in modern drama, I demonstrate how human identity can be better understood--and how it either becomes coherent or dissolves.


English & Comparative Literature Department

Degree Name

MA in English & Comparative Literature

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2014

First Advisor

Melaney, William

Committee Member 1

Ghazoul, Ferial

Committee Member 2

Abdel sser, Tahia


67 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Midlife crisis.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2



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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item