Henrik Ibsen lived in the Age of Invention and he alone invented the modern drama. One of Ibsen's most important contributions to literature or to drama is the throwing out of the kings and their courtiers. He threw out the verse and the verbal affectations. Most importantly he threw out the tricks and the traps and the outsized plots. He let mere life speak for itself. And to the disgust and outrage of newly liberated Europe mere life had a lot to say.
Uniquely among dramatists, he was able to scale the universe down to the size of drawing room, to the size of life itself. Thus giving rise to a drama that was rooted in the society and not outside it. Plays like A Doll's House, Hadda Gabler and Ghosts are classified under the second phase of his dramatic career. It was during this period that he made the transition from mythical and historical dramas to plays dealing with social problems. A Doll's House was the first in the series investigating the tensions of family life.
A common and fascinating characteristic of these plays is that they involve small number of characters unlike his earlier plays but in all three we find community personified to play a vital role. A role very much like the Greek gods used to play in the plays like Oedipus and that is how community becomes the defining element in an individual's life.
In these plays we find community acting more or less like an umbrella, engulfing everything under it. It creates an environment, a shadow. What community does is that it partakes the individuality of an individual who is a part of it. Thus it assigns him role making him aware of his social standing and finally providing him with a certain conscience as if limiting his acting space.
In A Doll's House we find two types of spirtual laws, two kinds of conscience, one in men and a quite different one in women. They do not match each other but still woman is judged in practical life according to man's laws, as if she was not a woman but a man.