Essay about Ibsen 's A Doll House And Hedda Gabler

Essay about Ibsen 's A Doll House And Hedda Gabler

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Two of the most popular, and most widely performed plays in history, are Henrcik Ibsen 's A Doll House and Hedda Gabler. The plays were popular, and created a scandal when first performed, and have remained popular ever since. One reason for the enduring popularity and power of the plays is the deep and powerful portrayal of the female protagonist of each play.
Ibsen intended that his plays be interpreted alongside each other, and often remarked that a series of plays was a cycle of the development of an idea. One such cycle “called nutidsdrama in Norwegian, began with A Doll House and ended with Hedda Gabler”(Mori 139). Many readers have notices the connection between the two memorable female characters. As Mori notes, “Nora and Hedda are characters of opposite types; the one goes out of the house slamming the door at the end, and the other never goes out but ends up by shooting herself in the cage like house (Mori 139). Hedda and Nora are both effected by the gender stereotypes of late Nineteenth Century culture. They both feel trapped and disempowered by society, but find freedom from the prision of gender roles in different ways. Hedda finds freedom by killing herself, while Nora finds freedom by ending her marriage.
A Doll 's House was first published in 1879 , and Hedda Gabler was first performed 1891. Both plays are considered classics of realist theater. In Hedda Gabler the main female character, Hedda, is married to he husband Eljert Tesman, yet Ibsen used her maiden name as the title of the play. This is a commentary on the nature of marriage and freedom for women. The title of A Doll House is also a commentary on the nature of marriage for women, as several times in the play, Nora is called a doll by her husband...

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...he gender role Nora expected. He his not acting like a loving husband, but as a victim of fraud. The farud he feels he is the victim of is Nora 's femininity. Once she commits the crime, Torvald no longer sees her as feminine. The gender roles assigned to each character by society is a fiction. AS Torvald says, “from now on, happiness doesn 't matter. All that matters is the appearance”(A Doll House, Act III). His reaction helps Nora further awaken to her captivity and the need to express herself, as she declares, “Before all else, I 'm a human being”(A Doll House Act III).
As the play ends, Nora recognizes that she has been kept like a toy, like a doll, and that her marriage is a fiction. Since Torvald has demonstrated he is not capable of playing his gender role, Nora feels free from her role as wife. She says, “It gives me great pain...but I cannot help

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