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Henrik Ibsen Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Supporting Notes

The practitioner we were most inspired by was Katie Mitchell. The crucial idea behind Katie Mitchell is that of Stanislavsky, naturalistic but with a contemporary twist. We chose to explore an extract from Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen. Being, a naturalistic play, we thought that by using Katie Mitchell as our practitioner, we would be able to put a slight twist onto the dated play, and gain more knowledge of the characters. This involved us researching the era of the play, the characters with depth, and the specific extract we were choosing to do. Katie Mitchell focused on exploring the characters with much depth, and allowing a real portrayal to be shown to the audience, in order for them to…

A Doll’s House

Nora will do anything to please her authoritarian husband Torvald. Per Torvald’s instructions, Nora focuses on such womanly disciplines as dancing and taking care of babies, while he sees to all the affairs of money. But when a past financial mistake comes back to haunt Nora and Torvald finds out, the result is an explosion of fury and a shocking revelation that changes the course of the entire family forever (Garland, 1973). Nora Helmer; seems completely happy. She responds affectionately to her husband’s teasing, speaks with excitement about the extra money his new job will provide, and takes pleasure in the company of her children and friends. She does not seem to mind her doll-like existence, in which she is…

Hedda Gabler

In today’s society we have the privilege of doing as much as we can in order to succeed in life or provide for one self. Hedda Gabler sadly did not have this privilege and neither did any other women throughout the 1800s. The roles for gender, both man and women were set in stone. The man was meant to provide stability and the woman to provide children and preform other household chores. All of Hedda’s life the most she could hope for was to marry into wealth or high stature. She wasn’t able to work or make money for herself without being frowned upon. Yet, Hedda seemed to push as many boundaries as possible and go against everything for her…

Life Changing Decisions

Many women in modern society make life altering decisions on a daily basis. Women today have prestigious and powerful careers unlike in earlier eras. It is more common for women to be full time employees than homemakers. In 1879, when Henrik Ibsen wrote “A Doll’s House”, there was great controversy over the outcome of the play. Nora’s walking out on her husband and children was appalling to many audiences centuries ago. Divorce was unspoken, and a very uncommon occurrence. As years go by, society’s opinions on family situations change. No longer do women have a “housewife” reputation to live by and there are all types of family situations. After many years of emotional neglect, and overwhelming control, Nora finds herself…

Themes of a Doll House

In Henrik Ibsen controversial play A Doll House there are many themes that are intertwined into the story of Nora, Torvald Helmer and Krogstad. Themes that if not looked for in a complex play as this would be over looked. These themes are the sacrificial role of a woman, gender, and the unreliability of appearance. The first theme in the play is probably the most obvious because this is based completely off what Nora does in the play the theme is the sacrificial role of woman. Though Nora is economically advantaged in comparison to the other female characters in the play, she nevertheless leads a difficult life because of society dictates that Torvald be the marriage’s dominant partner. Torvald condescends…

A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen

A Doll’s House is the most famous work of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. It has been staged throughout the world since way back until now, one and a half century later. However, few plays have had a similar impact globally on social norms and conditions (UNESCO, 2008). Ibsen introduces a play that is adequate in all aspects, much as it is intriguing in his time. It is a play of depth, gravity, and social relevance that it extends it’s importance and application even in the present society. This play tackles the life of middle class people in Ibsen’s time and how their lives are heavily affected when they encounter various crises. However, much as it is about families, it highlights…

Dramatist Henrik Ibsen

Henrik Johan Ibsen was a modern realistic dramatist. He is though of, by many authors and playwrights as the “father of modern drama”. Ibsen was considered a great national treasure by the Norwegians. Henrik Ibsen wrote many controversial plays which dealt with gender discrimination. The plays highlighted the struggles Victorian women went through to find respect and equality. Ibsen’s work gave insights into the barbarities that existed within the law and society of those times. Controversial writers like Ibsen intentionally or unintentionally forced women to rise up and reclaim their rights. His work was considered immoral and outrageous by many Europeans because it challenged their Victorian values. While other playwrights were writing moral dramas that consisted of a noble leading…

A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen

Reading the Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen makes you want to discern what entirely wives can afford to sacrifice for their families just to be good mothers and perfect wives for their husbands. This is the story of a woman who have succumbed to life’s realities which tell us that sometimes being a mother and a wife does not always make a woman complete but may even rob her of her rights as a real person. The first part of the story showed us that despite the lack of affluence, Nora has always been a happy mother and a contented wife for her husband. Such sweet and compassionate her life with her family that we, as readers are lured to…

A Doll’s House – Henrik Ibsen

Henrik Ibsen’s in one of his most revolutionary plays, A Doll’s House, filled his set and narrative with symbols that emphasised the idea that above everything, one must be an individual. Doors, macaroons and the tarantella are all symbols that are used by Ibsen to convey to the audience that the life of Nora and Torvald isn’t what it seems to the naked eye. The doors in the ‘doll’s house’ set, are emphasised, to symbolise the separate ‘world’s ‘ Nora and Torvald live in; the illusive macaroons symbolise the control Torvald has over his wife and the wild tarantella dance is symbolic of Nora’s desire to escape from her restricted and heavily defined existence. Doors in A Doll’s House are…

Comparison of Nora (A Doll’s House) and Mrs.Alving (Ghosts)

Nora and Mrs. Alving are two main characters in Ibsen’s plays. They are similar in some ways, but obviously they are both uniquely diverse. They play many of the same roles in their plays, and are probably the most similar two characters between “Ghosts” and “A Doll’s House.” Nora is a unique character, a kind not usually seen in most plays. She swings her mood often; she is either very happy or very depressed, comfortable or desperate, wise or naíve. At the beginning of the play, Nora still plays a child in many ways, listening at doors and eating forbidden sweets behind her husband’s back. She has gone straight from her father’s house to her husband’s, bringing along her nursemaid…

Existentialist traits in works of Henrik Ibsen

Existentialism is a major twentieth century continental European philosophical movement. The label was inspired by the tendency of some of the writers like Kierkegaard, Heidegger , Sartre and Nietzsche to use the term “existence” for a kind of being or life unique, in their view, to human beings. Only in the case of human beings is the conduct of their life an “issue” for them; only they can “stand out” – exstare, the Latin word from which “exist” comes – from their lives and reflect upon them; and only they have the capacity freely to shape their lives. Though Existentialism can appear in a number of different forms, the focal point as Jean Paul Sartre puts it is “existence precedes…

“Death of a Salesman” by Miller and “A Doll’s House” by Ibsen

“Death of a Salesman” and “A Doll’s House” are two plays that were written in different centuries. In these plays, among other things, is presented the place that women hold in the family, as well as in the society. Although in many aspects, the two protagonists of the plays, Linda and Nora respectively, appear to have things in common, at the same time they are very different, since Nora seems to be more modern and liberal than Linda, which is ironic given the fact that Ibsen wrote his play seventy years earlier than Miller. The representation of the two women in these two plays is what will be discussed in this paper. In “Death of a Salesman”, Linda embodies the…

Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman (cited)

Willy and Nora: Tragic Heroes or Home-wreckers? No one has a perfect life. Despite what Aaron Spelling and his friends in the media might project to society today, no one’s life is perfect. Everyone has conflicts that they must face sooner or later. The ways in which people deal with these conflicts can be just as varied as the people themselves. Some procrastinate and ignore their problems as long as they can, while others attack problems to get them out of the way as soon as possible. The Lowman and Helmer families have a number of problems that they deal with in different ways, which proves their similarities and differences. Both Willy Loman, the protagonist of Arthur Miller’s Death of…

The classics, Antigone and A Doll’s House

To understand the relationships and the differences between two stories, one must analyze the story from beginning to end, noting which direction each story heading from the beginning. The plot must be closely looked upon as well as the actors and their actions. Antigone and A doll’s house are very similar stories as they both tragic stories of betrayal and mind games. In Antigone, King Creon makes a statewide decree stating that Polynices, the traitor is not to receive a formal burial and is left to rot in the open, but his sister, Antigone, defies his decree even after her sister, Ismene’s, refusal to aid in his burial. She buries Polynices and is caught. Soon a Sentry (military officer) arrives…

Symbolism in A Doll’s House

Symbols are used universally to arouse interest to something prosaic and to stimulate the mind. Henrik Ibsen’s play, A Doll’s House is fraught with symbols that represent abstract ideas and concepts. These symbols successfully illustrate the inner conflicts that are going on between the characters. A few of the symbols are the macaroons, the Tarantella dance, and the Christmas tree. Nora lies about the macaroons twice, the first time to Torvald and the second time to Dr. Rank. Nora resorts to lying about eating the macaroons because she feels she is at fault for disobeying. The macaroons denote Nora’s dishonesty, which also alludes to her act of committing objectionable, underhanded deeds. The Tarantella is symbolic because it shows that Nora…

Foil Characters in “A Doll’s House”

Henrik Ibsen creates characters in A Doll’s House who change throughout the play. Ibsen’s use of foil characters helps the reader understand each individual character better. Some of the characters in the play are perceived as opposites but in fact share several similarities. Krogstad and Torvald, Christine and Nora, and Krogstad/Christine’s relationship and Torvald/Nora’s relationship are all foils to each other. Foil characters are mirror images of each other; they have similarities as well as differences. Nils Krogstad and Torvald Helmer are foils to each other. They both have children and are lawyers, even though Krogstad lost his license because he did a forgery. Krogstad did something immoral but so did Torvald; Torvald helped Nora’s father when he had done…

Far From Feminism: A Doll’s House

First performed in Denmark of 1879, “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen shocked Europe with its controversially courageous ideas. Although the play undeniably paints a sympathetic salutation to the plight of women during the 18th and 19th century, Ibsen repudiated the piece as being of solely feministic construct, declaring it a humanistic piece. In fact, when he was being honored by the Norwegian Society for Women’s Rights, Ibsen himself stressed that his general intent as a writer was not to solely bring light to the plight of women when he asserted that, “True enough, it is desirable to solve the woman problem, along with all the others; but that has not been the whole purpose. My task has been the…