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Doll's House

by Henrik Ibsen  |  Grades: 11-12  |  Ages: 16+  |  Drama 

A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen Teacher Guide, Lesson Plans, Novel UnitAbout A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen

One of the best-known, most frequently performed of modern plays, A Doll's House richly displays the genius with which Henrik Ibsen pioneered modern, realistic prose drama.

In the central character of Nora, Ibsen epitomized the human struggle against the humiliating constraints of social conformity. Nora's ultimate rejection of a smothering marriage and life in "a doll's house" shocked theatergoers of the late 1800s and opened new horizons for playwrights and their audiences. 

But daring social themes are only one aspect of Ibsen's power as a dramatist. A Doll's House shows as well his gifts for creating realistic dialogue, a suspenseful flow of events and, above all, psychologically penetrating characterizations that make the struggles of his dramatic personages utterly convincing. Here is a deeply absorbing play as readable as it is eminently playable. 

Nora Helmer, wife to Torvald and mother of three children, appears to enjoy living the life of a pampered, indulged child. But as her economic dependence becomes brutally clear, Nora's acceptance of the status quo undergoes a profound change. To the horror of the bewildered Torvald, himself caught in the tight web of a conservative society which demands that he exert strict control, Nora comes to see that the only possible true course of action is to leave the family home.

A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

Biographical Notes About Henrik Ibsen

Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) is often called 'the Father of Modern Drama.' Born in Norway in 1828, he enjoyed successes with the verse dramas Brand and Peer Gynt, before embarking on his great 12--play cycle of society dramas, which included A Doll's House and Ghosts. After twenty--one years of self--imposed exile in Italy and Germany, Ibsen died in Norway in 1906.

Available Teacher Guides, Lesson Plans, Novel Units, and Activities for A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen: