Munken Vendt (1902) is a verse-drama in eight Acts. Hamsun uses the same metre (knittelvers) as Ibsen did in Peer Gynt (1867)
The action takes place in Nordland towards the end of the eighteenth century. Munken Vendt is the illegitimate son of a milkmaid. He abandons his theological studies and devotes himself to hunting and seducing women. He finds himself torn between the gentle Blis and the more temperamental Iselin. Iselin marries the powerful Didrik, but her feelings for Munken Vendt persist, as does his fascination with her.
The eponymous hero Munken Vendt is used elsewhere in Hamsun’s work, including appearances in Pan, Victoria and Rosa.
Munken Vendt was written as a play for reading, and only with considerable adaptation can it be performed on stage. Several of the songs and poems in the drama appeared subsequently in The Wild Choir (1904), Hamsun’s collection of poems. The drama was originally intended to be the start of a trilogy, but Hamsun abandoned the plan after struggling with the demands of the form.