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Henrik Ibsens A Dolls House - Assignment Example

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Among the three background materials or sources, the Encyclopedia Britannica article on Henrik Ibsen provides the most relevant or useful reference material for a research paper on Ibsen's play, A Doll's House. Furthermore, the Britannica material has the most comprehensive and in-dept discussion about Henrik Ibsen, the author and each one of his plays, at least the major ones, including A Doll's House…
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Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House Among the three background materials or sources, the Encyclopedia Britannica article on Henrik Ibsen provides the most relevant or useful reference material for a research paper on Ibsen's play, A Doll's House. Furthermore, the Britannica material has the most comprehensive and in-dept discussion about Henrik Ibsen, the author and each one of his plays, at least the major ones, including A Doll's House. The two other sources, Wikipedia (entry on Henrik Ibsen) and an archived obituary article posted by a newsgroup and originally dated May 26, 1906 in The Academy, three days after Ibsen's death provide good information about the playwright's biographical information as well as about his work, his style and his contributions to literature. However, there is no direct reference to A Doll's House in the obituary material. In the Wikipedia entry, only one statement directly refers to the play. However, these two last sources could still be useful as relevant, though indirect materials to aid a student doing a research paper on A Doll's House to shed light on how influences and Ibsen's life background contributed to his writing of the particular play in study.
According to the Britannica article on Henrik Ibsen, the "proper voice" of the Norwegian playwright came with the writing of A Doll's House in 1879 (par. 10). In the succeeding three paragraphs of the article, the characters, the plot, the technique used by Ibsen as well as the reaction of audiences towards the play are discussed (par. 11-13). Paragraph 11 tells about the characters and the plot of the play - Torvald Helmer and his wife Nora, with their three children and how a secret of Nora would unravel that would pave the way for revealing the true character of the people in the play. Torvald would be unmasked for the hypocrite that he is and Nora after being shocked to learn that her husband condemned her for an act she did and maintained as a secret to protect him - would transform swiftly from a sacrificing wife to an independent woman, able to leave her husband and children for the sake of her own person (par. 11-12). The article also discusses how the audience in Europe at that time during the Victorian era were shocked as to the ending of the play - that of Nora slamming the door - and how Ibsen did not at all invent, for the sake of propriety, "a happy ending" (par. 11-12). The technique used by Ibsen called "analytic exposition" accordingly provided the playwright with a powerful means to make not only A Doll's House, but also his other plays instrumental in making his art compelling to his audience (par 13). Also, Henrik Ibsen is known for creating plots wherein his characters are forced to confront their very being and deliberate on the truth about themselves (par 19). This could be seen on what happens to Nora who confronts her very self, the truth about her situation and her decision in A Doll's House.
In the Wikipedia article on Ibsen, it is mentioned that A Doll's House was published in Munich, Germany in 1879 and that the play was "a scathing criticism of the traditional roles of men and women in Victorian marriage" (par. 10). In a way, a Doll's House is very much representative of the kind of plays that Ibsen was known for - ones which feature iconoclastic and rebellious characters who go against the foregoing beliefs and traditions of society. The Academy obituary article dating back in 1906 could be used as a useful material for which to situate the play A Doll's House against the backdrop of what Ibsen mainly achieved as a dramatist and a man of literature (par 1-6).
To make a well-researched paper on a Doll's House, a student may be well advised to turn to other sources, especially those that directly pertain to the Doll's House as a play, and not limit them to sources that speak about Ibsen in general as with the Wikipedia and the old obituary article.
Works Cited:
"Henrik Ibsen". Britannica Online Encyclopedia. 2007. 14 October 2007. .
"Henrik Ibsen". Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. 12 October 2007. 14 October 2007. .
Alt.obituaries. Henrik Ibsen (May 23rd 1906). The Academy (May 26th 1906) . 23 May 2006. October 14 October 2007. . Read More
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