A Doll's House


This study guide will help you analyze the play A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen. You can also find a summary of the play, full characterizations, as well as inspiration for interpreting the text and putting it into perspective.

Presentation of the text

Title: A Doll's House (1879)

Author: Henrik Ibsen

Genre: Play

Henrik Johan Ibsen (1828-1906) was a Norwegian playwright and theater director. He was considered one of the founders of modernism theater. His most famous plays include Peer Gynt (1867), An Enemy of the People (1882), A Doll's House (1879), and Ghosts (1882). Ibsen often criticized aspects of his society in his plays. He is considered the second most performed playwright after Shakespeare.

The play A Doll's House presents the conflict of the main character, Nora, who once took out an illegal loan to save her husband's life. The events in the play cause Nora to realize that she has been treated like a doll for her entire life, and that she wants this to change. The play is ahead of its time in the way it deals with gender roles and the ending is surprising, as it was unusual in that period for a woman to leave her husband and her children and attempt to lead an independent life.

Here, you can read an extract from our study guide: 

Time setting

The action begins on Christmas Eve (Act 1, 68%). The first act covers the period from the preparations around noon on December 24 until about the afternoon, after Krogstad has visited Nora and she has spoken to her husband about this visit.

The second act begins with Christmas Day (Act 2, 0%). This means that there has been a time skip as the actual Christmas Eve is not described in the first act. The second act ends with the family going to dinner. The extensive feast, which is to last until the next day, is also not described...

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A Doll's House

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