Peer Gynt tells stories. And he is famous for inexhaustible tales that astound his listeners. In a village community that offers him nothing but mockery, he begins to dream about everything he could be. Peer Gynt is an outsider and a fantasist. He gives in to any distraction, be it a brawl or his own dreams of himself as an emperor, someone who commits great deeds. These imaginings beckon him to follow. He fills himself with identity, driven by a yearning of being somebody, to himself and to others. He travels the world, works as a ship owner in America, becomes a prophet, an emperor of self-interest, and yet never manages to come any closer to his own true self.
Intoxicated by the scent of the rotting onion, skin by skin, he falls into a delirium that no longer reveals what is reality and what is utopian design of the Gyntian self. An ecstatic escape, driven by the constant failure of lies and the fear of becoming lost in his own invention – his existence a hollow form, good for nothing but being molten down in the end. It is Peer Gynt himself who ultimately becomes his own abyss.