A Doll's House and the Style/Type of Play

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A Doll’s House and the style/type of play Due to the definitions of styles of drama and plays being very loosely defined, it is likely that A Doll’s House can be interpreted as many different types of play. Ibsen’s work has been constantly debated on whether a style in consistent in his works, especially in A Doll’s House- one of his more widely known and famous plays. It could be argued that Ibsen’s A Doll’s House shows aspects of Melodrama, the constancy of Nora ‘humming happily to herself’ in menial actions, emphasises her positive mood, but in a way that can be overly sensed and heard by the audience, giving into the fairytale convention of humming whilst doing domestic work. Helmer is also shown to be ‘dragging’ Nora by the ‘ear’, a movement which is over-played when he could have just beckoned to her to follow her, pursuing a more normal action but instead helps to emphasise the paternal hold Helmer has over Nora as it is often a joke or even punishment a father or mother will inflict on their child. Melodramas constantly dramatise simple actions in order to highlight their importance or comedy to the audience, therefore these over-dramatic actions such as singing and being dragged by the ear, which often feed, into storybook stereotypes in such simple situations, help to shape the argument that A Doll’s House could be interpreted as a melodrama. However, another style that some say A Doll’s House is subject to is a Well-Made play. As Wilkie Collins succinctly defined the Well-Made play outline as “ Make ‘em laugh, Make ‘em weep, make ‘em wait”. Helmer refers to Nora as his ‘little skylark twittering out there’ and his ‘ squirrel scampering’, these outlandish and unusual pet names become a repetitive comical point as Ibsen plays on the ideas of animals in odd ways to show Helmer’s affection but also lighten up the mood of the play, making the audience
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