A Doll's House


Few plays have had as much influence globally on social norms and conditions as A Doll’s House by the Norwegian playwright, Henrik Ibsen (1828–1906). Considered one of the great figures of world literature, Ibsen gave theatrical art a new vitality by bringing into European bourgeois drama an ethical gravity, psychological depth, and social significance that the theater had lacked since the days of William Shakespeare. His plays portray people from the middle class of his day, whose routines are suddenly upset as they confront a deep crisis in their lives. Among Ibsen’s best known works, A Doll’s House shows the play’s leading character, Nora Helmer, striving to free herself from her role as her husband Torvald’s “doll,” seeking to be true to her own self and to find her own way in the world. Ibsen’s portrayal of 19th century marital norms was controversial when the play was first performed, but the character of Nora soon became an important symbol throughout the world for women fighting for liberation and equality. A Doll’s House was first performed at the Royal Theater in Copenhagen in 1879, the same year in which Ibsen completed and published the work. Presented here is the autograph printer's fair copy of the whole play, in one volume, from the collections of the National Library of Norway. Ibsen’s signed manuscripts of A Doll’s House were inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 2001.

Last updated: May 24, 2017