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Historical, Cultral and Social context of a Doll

            Historical, Cultural and Social context .
             A Doll's House was published on December 4, 1879, and first performed in Copenhagen on December 21, 1879. Before Ibsen's controversial play A Doll's House 19th century theatre was an era of romanticism, in which theatre depicted "unreal situations, involving royal characters in heroic tragedies, written in rhymed verse." Ibsen broke away from romanticism when he wrote A Doll's House, with realistic portrayals of individual characters, which were highly motivated by instinctual drives from within, and harassed by social an economic pressures from without. A Doll's House was much different in terms of style, characterization, plot etc. from any type of play people of the time had seen; therefore it was open to extreme criticism. The play was seen as so controversial that Ibsen was forced to write a second ending that he called ''a barbaric outrage'' to be used only when necessary. The controversy was centered around Nora's decision to abandon her children which was critised by critics as unrealistic, since, according to them, no "real" woman would ever make that choice; so in the second ending she decides that the children need her more than she needs her freedom. The most direct historical comparison that can be made with A Doll's House is with the woman it is based on, Laura Kieler; who Ibsen based Nora on. Laura, unlike Nora, did not, however, leave her husband, but was forced into divorce. This was because she borrowed money to finance a trip to help with her husband's illness, but gradually got into such trouble with her creditors that, like Nora, she committed forgery in order to get hold of some money. The affair ended in tragedy as the forgery was discovered and her husband demanded a divorce and had her children Ibsen's knowledge of the world he lived in and his life experiences influenced his writing of A Doll's House dramatically.

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