#Play A Doll’s House
- Playwright: Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)
- Title: A Doll’s House
- Genre: play
- Opening night: 1879
- Reading time: 30-45 min
- List of Challenges 2020
- Monthly reading plan
- This was a very easy play to read.
- The dialogue is …
- clean, simple, evocative, alive and easily spoken.
- In Act III when Nora finally finds her voice she
- pummels her husband….who can’t handle the truth!
- #MustRead classic play!
- This play is an audience favorite:
- Film adaptations with Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Jane Fonda and Juliet Stevenson
- Stage production is planned June 2020 London with Jessica Chastain.
- At the moment a spin-off is on stage in London.
- Nora: A Doll’s House –> Young Vic Theatre in London.
- Stef Smith’s adaptation of the Ibsen play sends the title character on a time-traveling mission,
- exploring how far women’s rights have progressed in the last 100 years.
- The play re-frames the drama in three different time periods:
- the women’s suffrage movement,
- the Swinging ’60s in London, and
- present day.
- 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!).
- This created a sensation in 19th C Royal Theatre Denmark on 21 December 1879!
- Ibsen broke with the traditional well-made play structure.
- The well-made play from 19th C first codified by French dramatist Eugène Scribe
- …with 5 equal parts in 5 acts: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, denouement.
- Problem play…
- …character Nora is in conflict with a social issue or institution ( marriage)
- Ibsen presents in A Doll’s House the
- treatment of women (..as unequal)
- particularly the entrapment of women …in marriage
- in a very realistic manner.
Timeline: 3 days
- The play begins on Christmas Eve and
- concludes the day after Christmas… the 26th.
- Nora and Torvald (married)
- Christine (BFF)
- Nils – employee at Torvald’s bank
- Dr Rank (family friend)
Quickscan: (…no spoilers)
- — The institution of marriage was sacrosanct in 19TH C
- — This play was highly controversial and elicited sharp criticism.
- — Nora Helmer gains the reader’s empathy.
- — Nora’s change: sheltered 19th C child wife….to mature woman who finds her voice
- — Theme: woman trapped in a patriarchal society (…loveless marriage)
- — Foils: Nora —> Christien (friend); Torvard (husband) —> Nils (employee)
- — Foils: partners Nora and Tovard —> partners Christine and Nils
- — Symbol: most important is the Christmas tree —> beautiful, admired, decorated
- …parallel with Nora. During the play the tree loses it’s splendour, ornaments as does Nora
- …appearing in a bedraggled state.
Nora and Tovald:
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 honest with each other
YES respect for each other
NO kept secrets