A Doll House • Is a three-act play in prose by the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. • It premièred at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 21 December 1879, having been published earlier that month. • The play was controversial when first published, as it is sharply critical of 19th century marriage norms. • Michael Meyer argues that the play's theme is not women's rights, but rather the need of every individual to find out the kind of person he or she really is and to strive to become that person.
Writing Process and Publication • Ibsen started thinking about the play around May 1878, although he did not begin its first draft until a year later, having reflected on the themes and characters in the intervening period. • He outlined his conception of the play as a modern tragedy in a note written in Rome on October 19, 1878. • Ibsen sent a fair copy of the completed play to his publisher on 15 September 1879. • 8 March.
Writing Process and Publication • It was first published in Copenhagen on 4 December 1879 • in an edition of 8,000 copies that sold out within a month; a second edition of 3,000 copies followed on 4 January 1880 and a third edition of 2,500 was issued on March 8.
Connection to Real-Life • A Doll's House was based on the life of Laura Kieler. She was a good friend of Ibsen. • In real life, when Victor found out about Laura's secret loan, he divorced her and had her committed to an asylum. • Two years later, she returned to her husband and children at his urging, and she went on to become a well-known Danish author, living to the age of 83.
Production History • A Doll's House received its world première on December 21,1879 at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark, with Betty Hennings as Nora and Emil Poulsen as Torvald. • The play made its American première on Broadway at the Palmer's Theatre on 21 December 1889, starring Beatrice Cameron as Nora Helmer.
Criticism • A Doll's House criticizes the traditional roles of men and women in 19th-century marriage. • In Germany, the production's lead had actress refused to play the part of Nora unless Ibsen changed the ending. • In the alternative ending, Nora gives her husband another chance after he reminds her of her responsibility to their children. • He eventually changed the ending and later that ending proved unpopular and Ibsen regretted his decision on the matter.