A Doll's House: Large Print Editionby Henrik Ibsen
A Doll's House is the play that made Henrik Ibsen world famous; though it got substantial acclaim, much initial attention came from controversy - and some from outrage. However, time has sided with it, proving Ibsen's points and burying naysayers under a pile of narrow-minded hypocrisy; the play remains Ibsen's most popular and one of his most acclaimed, taking its… See more details below
A Doll's House is the play that made Henrik Ibsen world famous; though it got substantial acclaim, much initial attention came from controversy - and some from outrage. However, time has sided with it, proving Ibsen's points and burying naysayers under a pile of narrow-minded hypocrisy; the play remains Ibsen's most popular and one of his most acclaimed, taking its high place in the world literary canon.
Often called the first feminist play, A Doll's House is both a literary masterpiece and a savage critique of Victorian society's treatment of women. From speech to employment; their very thoughts were persecuted as far as possible. We also see what form this took in the domestic sphere; patriarchy is lambasted and exposed as hollow, and male-female relations generally are thoroughly critiqued. Ibsen was clearly one of those rare artists who truly has a finger on the cultural pulse; he knew just what buttons to push and hit with a sledgehammer.
The play would of course be of only historical interest if it merely dealt with long-vanished injustice, but this is far from so. More fundamentally, many core concerns - e.g., how to balance self-respect and ambition with marriage and children - are as old as civilization. The play will continue speaking to us profoundly as long as they remain unsolved, which shows no sign of being anytime soon. The best aspect in this regard is that it is not preachy or heavy-handed.
But the play would be very enjoyable and laudable even if we noticed none of this, and there may indeed be more immediate reasons for its greatness and continuing relevance. The tightly plotted and deftly executed story is a huge strength of the play. The ending is of course deservedly famous, pulled off perhaps more effectively than any other in drama; it is led up to with truly artistic precision, the timing is impeccable, and the final door slam is the most brilliantly perfect yet subtle use of sound ever written into a play. Also, as George Bernard Shaw noted and others have come to appreciate ever more, the ending skillfully inverts the "well-made play" formula then considered obligatory. Ibsen tricked audiences into thinking the climax was the conclusion, which made the ending all the more stunning; we may miss the irony, but the essential effect is hardly dimmed. A Dolls House is highly emotional and supremely engrossing throughout despite having very little of what we now call action - an Ibsen trademark and a key ingredient in his greatness. He was a master of irony, foreshadowing, and other dramatic techniques, using them to full effect here; the satire making up much of the play is also immaculately done.
A Doll's House is simply incredible in every aspect, essential for anyone even remotely interested in drama, women's issues, the Victorian era - or great literature itself.
- CreateSpace Publishing
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Large Print
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.35(d)
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