Words of Wisdom:

"The reward of suffering is experience." - Papyrus

A Doll's House 3

  • Date Submitted: 08/12/2011 04:14 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 62.3 
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Loyalty, duty, obligation. These are only some of the social laws that Henrik Ibsen wrote out against in his later works. Ibsen believed that these bourgeois beliefs were hindering the individual's, as well as the nation's, realization of the self. To Ibsen, it was far more important to have the freedom to express oneself than to adhere to outdated, conventional ideas. In "A Doll House" and "Ghosts", both heroines are forced to confront these social hindrances. Both women attempt to overcome these powerful restraints in their attempts to find themselves, one more successfully than the other. "Ibsen's effect on his contemporaries and his influence on the course of modern drama were immediate and profound".1 More than any other dramatist, he gave theater a new vitality by bringing into European bourgeois drama an ethical gravity, a psychological depth, and a social significance which the theater had lacked since the days of Shakespeare. For the better part of fifty years, Ibsen contributed to giving European drama a vitality and artistic quality comparable to the ancient Greek tragedies. This contribution to theatrical history gained for Ibsen the reputation of being the greatest and most influential dramatist of his time. He "gave the stage its first distinctively modern characters: complex, contradictory individuals driven by a desire for something - the 'joy of life', a sense of themselves - that they can barely recognize or name".2 His realistic contemporary drama was a continuation of the European tradition of tragic plays. In these plays he portrays ordinary middle class people of his day. Routines, and schedules usually taken for granted, are suddenly turned upside down as they are forced to confront a major crisis. Nora, in "A Doll House", must finally confess to her husband that she borrowed money illegally in a desperate attempt to save him. A fact she is terrified to reveal. Mrs. Alving in "Ghosts" must confront herself, the ghosts which she carries around...


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