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March 2, 2020

4

#Play A Doll’s House

by N@ncy

Conclusion:

  1. This was a very easy play to read.
  2. The dialogue is …
  3. clean, simple, evocative, alive and easily spoken.
  4. In Act III when Nora finally finds her voice she
  5. pummels her husband….who can’t handle the truth!
  6. #MustRead  classic play!
  7. This play is an audience favorite:
  8. Film adaptations with Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Jane Fonda and Juliet Stevenson
  9. Stage production is planned June 2020 London with Jessica Chastain.

  1. At the moment a spin-off is on stage in London.
  2. Nora: A Doll’s House –> Young Vic Theatre in London.
  3. Stef Smith’s adaptation of the Ibsen play sends the title character on a time-traveling mission,
  4. exploring how far women’s rights have progressed in the last 100 years.
  5. The play re-frames the drama in three different time periods:
  6. the women’s suffrage movement,
  7. the Swinging ’60s in London, and
  8. present day.
  9. The play was recently named a finalist for the 2020 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

Structure: Three act play:

Act 1: exposition (married life, Christine returns)
Act 2: rising action (Nora’s secret is discovered!)
Act 3: climax and resolution occur simultaneously (Nora…walks out the door with her baggage!).

Well-made play:

  1. This created a sensation in 19th C Royal Theatre Denmark on 21 December 1879!
  2. Ibsen broke with the traditional well-made play  structure.
  3. The well-made play  from 19th C first codified by French dramatist Eugène Scribe
  4. …with 5 equal parts  in 5 acts:  exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, denouement.

Genre:

  1. Problem play…
  2. …character Nora is  in conflict with a social issue or institution ( marriage)
  3. Ibsen presents in A Doll’s House the
  4. treatment of women (..as unequal)
  5. particularly the entrapment of women …in marriage
  6. in a very realistic manner.

Timeline: 3 days

  1. The play begins on Christmas Eve and
  2. concludes the day after Christmas… the 26th.

Main characters:

  1. Nora and Torvald (married)
  2. Christine (BFF)
  3. Nils – employee at Torvald’s bank
  4. Dr Rank (family friend)

Quickscan:  (…no spoilers)

  1. — The institution of marriage was sacrosanct in 19TH C
  2. — This play was highly controversial and elicited sharp criticism.
  3. — Nora Helmer gains the reader’s empathy.
  4. Nora’s change: sheltered 19th C child wife….to mature woman who finds her voice
  5. Theme: woman trapped in a patriarchal society (…loveless marriage)
  6. Foils:   Nora —> Christien (friend); Torvard (husband) —> Nils (employee)
  7. Foils:   partners Nora and Tovard —> partners Christine and Nils
  8. Symbol: most important is the Christmas tree —> beautiful, admired, decorated
  9. …parallel with Nora. During the play the tree loses it’s splendour, ornaments as does Nora
  10. …appearing in a bedraggled state.

Contrast relationships:

Nora and Tovald:
NO…communication openly.
NOT honest with each other
NO respect for each other
KEEP secrets (…at least Nora does…)
UNEQUALS – man controles and is above wife
NO true love

Christine and Nils —> exactly the opposite!
YES…communication openly.
YES honest with each other
YES respect for each other
NO kept secrets
EQUALS

Read more from Classic, plays
4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mar 2 2020

    Reblogged this on penwithlit.

    Like

    Reply
  2. Louise Minervino
    Mar 3 2020

    Time for a re-read for me.

    Like

    Reply
    • Mar 3 2020

      It is such a quick read….and the women’s issues are timeless!

      Like

      Reply

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