How Far Do You Agree That Ibsen Brings 'a Doll's House' to a Satisfying Conclusion? Essay

1588 WordsMay 18, 20157 Pages
Henrik Ibsen’s ‘A Doll’s House’ portrays a typical late Victorian household in a patriarchal society, reflective of the culture the play was first performed in. Ibsen adheres to many of Aristotle’s concepts set out in Poetics, namely a small number of characters and one main plot set in the same room, over a short period of time. This creates a heightened sense of tension and claustrophobia for the audience, which leads objectively to the shocking conclusion of the play. In an interview, the actor Fru Hennings, one of the first to play the character of Nora, said that ‘When I now play the part the first acts leave me indifferent. Not until the third act am I really interested-but then intensely’. This shows the way the playwright manages to increase the momentum to the crescendo of the final act. Throughout the play the sound and imagery of the four doors which lead off the one room in which the entire play takes place, for the duration of the play the doors are locked and unlocked and opened and closed, with Nora, more than any other character staying in the one room. This creates the impression that she is trapped, and this is consolidated through the actions of Nora, her continual movement. For example in the first scene when Nora returns and speaks to her husband, the stage directions show her to be moving around the room, away from him, with Helmer ‘going over to her’. With the language that Helmer uses to describe his wife, as a ‘little squirrel’, a ‘my little featherbrain’ and ‘my little song-bird’, the image of Nora as being trapped in her home and treated like a possession is enforced. The contrast between the opening scene and the last shows how Ibsen manages to bring the play to a satisfying end, for the two are so opposite, and Nora’s character so changed, it is as if it is from another play entirely. Ibsen creates this turnaround through the actions

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