Despite having served a five-year prison sentence for embezzling funds, former bank director John Gabriel Borkman shows no signs of remorse. On the contrary, although he lost everything, he still nurtures fantasies of omnipotence. Withdrawn to the first floor of the mansion, he dreams of establishing a resource empire. Borkman considers it his life's mission to possess all the riches that the soil, the mountains, the forests and the seas hold, to exploit them in order to ensure prosperity. His wife Gunhild deeply resents the disgrace that ruin has brought upon the family. She relies all her hopes on their son. Erhart shall rehabilitate the family's name and reputation. However, as Gunhild's twin sister Ella Rentheim, former lover of Borkman and now owner of the mansion, visits on a cold winter's night, a relentless battle erupts over the family's sole heir. Not only do the selfish claims of all involved surface in emotionally charged settlements, but dark plots from the past too are dragged into the light of day. John Gabriel Borkman represents the prototype of an unscrupulous banker. His inability to take responsibility for his actions lies in his inflated self-image. As Gunhild appears to crumble away from the family's violation of honour, Borkman drifts into his own reality until he eventually succumbs to madness.