A doll's House

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A Doll's House

Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)

  • Ibsen was born in Skien, Norway

  • His father was a successful merchant, until bankruptcy left the family poor and rejected from society

  • Ibsen worked as a pharmacist’s assistant for a while, but hated it; he failed an entrance examination to a university, and decided to earn his living as a writer

  • Drama became one of Ibsen’s interests after he managed a theater, even though the theater itself went bankrupt and closed

  • Ibsen’s plays were often misunderstood and panned by critics, because they were unlike any other drama that had been seen before

  • Ibsen used drama to comment on problems that society tended to ignore, and so people were angered and offended by his play’s subjects

A Doll's House

  • Ibsen’s most famous play, A Doll’s House, centers around a woman named Nora and her husband, Torvald Helmer

  • Nora undergoes an extreme transformation in the play; she starts out as a picture-perfect nineteenth century wife, supportive of her husband and selfless for her family

  • At the end of the play, Nora does something that was unacceptable for women of Ibsen’s time

  • Nora is a revolutionary character because she is a woman who realizes that she wants more for herself than the life of a housewife; she wants to be respected for who she is, and wants to be treated as an equal to her husband

  • Realistic drama with social commentary wasn’t done before Ibsen’s plays; he was the first playwright to be acknowledged as progressive and realistic


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