August Strindberg has through his plays become Sweden's most famous author.
As younger contemporary of the Norwegian Henrik Ibsen, he became the foremost
Nordic competitor of the latter for place on the international theatre repertoire.
After Strindberg had gained a world-wide reputation through his naturalistic
plays of sexual conflicts - The Father (1887), Miss Julie (1888) and Creditors (1889) - he became a more radical renewer of the modern drama
than Ibsen, through the dreamplay dramaturgy he created after his Inferno crisis
(1894-97). With plays like To Damascus (1898-1901), A Dream Play (1901) and The Ghost Sonata (1907) he prepared the way for the making of a new kind of
non-realistic drama. These plays were to be a very fertile and influential source for the making of
Symbolist and Expressionist dramas, and has had a very tangible influence also on
the younger generation of dramatists. Eugene O'Neill, George Bernard Shaw, Jean-
Paul Sartre, Samuel Beckett and countless other playwrights have been stirred to
their depths by the Strindbergian drama, and among Swedish dramatists of recent
times, Lars Norén might be mentioned.
Strindberg was also a renewer of historical drama in Sweden. Even though the subjects were from Swedish history he used his own "inferno experiences" in plays
like Gustavus Vasa (1899), Erik XIV (1899) and Charles XII (1901) to discuss crime, punishment and reconciliation.