The classic play about a woman’s fight for independence and her desire to break free of her role as housewife.
One of the best-known, most frequently performed modern plays, A Doll’s House richly displays the genius with which Henrik Ibsen pioneered realistic prose drama. The central character, Nora, epitomizes the human struggle against the humiliating constraints of social conformity. Her ultimate rejection of a smothering marriage and life in a “doll’s house” shocked theatergoers of the late nineteenth century and opened new horizons for playwrights and their audiences.
However, daring social themes are only one aspect of Ibsen’s power as a dramatist. A Doll’s House demonstrates his ability to create realistic dialogue and a suspenseful flow of events, and bring to life the psychologically penetrating characterizations that make the struggles of his dramatic personages utterly convincing. Here is a deeply absorbing dramatic work as readable as it is eminently playable.
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Henrik Ibsen (1828–1906) is the Norwegian playwright deemed the “father of realism.” Born in Skien, Norway, Ibsen was exiled in 1862 to Italy, where he wrote the tragedy Brand. After moving to Germany in 1868, he wrote A Doll’s House (1879), one of his most famous works; Hedda Gabler (1890), the title character of which is one of theater’s most notorious roles; and many other plays. In 1891, Ibsen returned to Norway, where he remained until his death.