A Doll’s House: Two takes on Ibsen

Cascadia Weekly

Nora Helmer’s husband is a clueless jerk who treats his wife like brainless chattel, but that didn’t stop audiences who first watched Danish playwright Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House from being aghast when her character chose to leave her spouse—and her children—behind at the end of the three-act play.

When the work by the father of modern drama premiered at Copenhagen’s Royal Theatre in 1879, the controversy wasn’t just contained to those who’d seen the production. Nope, citizens far and wide were concerned it wasn’t realistic that a woman seeking individual self-fulfillment would make the decision to flee from a man who refused to acknowledge the sacrifices she’d made for him over the years—including forging her father’s name for a loan designed to save her husband’s life.

Thursday, November 2, 2017 - 1:11pm