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English 12 - Mr. Rinka Lesson #57

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1 English 12 - Mr. Rinka Lesson #57
Henrik Ibsen & A Doll’s House

2 Henrik Ibsen
Henrik Johan Ibsen (20 March 1828 – 23 May 1906) was a major 19th-century Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet. He is often referred to as "the father of realism" and is one of the founders of Modernism in the theatre. His major works include Brand, Peer

3 Gynt, An Enemy of the People, Emperor and Galilean, A Doll's House, Hedda Gabler, Ghosts, The Wild Duck, Rosmersholm, and The Master Builder. He is the most frequently performed dramatist in the world after Shakespeare, and A Doll's House became the world's most performed play by the early 20th century.

4 Several of his plays were considered scandalous to many of his era, when European theatre was required to model strict morals of family life and propriety. Ibsen's work examined the realities that lay behind many façades, revealing much that was disquieting to many contemporaries. It utilized a critical eye and free inquiry into the

5 conditions of life and issues of morality
conditions of life and issues of morality. The poetic and cinematic play Peer Gynt, however, has strong surreal elements. Ibsen is often ranked as one of the truly great playwrights in the European tradition. Richard Hornby describes him as "a profound poetic dramatist—the best since Shakespeare". He is widely

6 regarded as the most important playwright since Shakespeare
regarded as the most important playwright since Shakespeare. He influenced other playwrights and novelists such as George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, Arthur Miller, James Joyce, and Eugene O'Neill. Ibsen wrote his plays in Danish (the common written language of Denmark and Norway) and they were published by the Danish

7 publisher Gyldendal. Although most of his plays are set in Norway—often in places reminiscent of Skien, the port town where he grew up—Ibsen lived for 27 years in Italy and Germany, and rarely visited Norway during his most productive years. Born into a merchant family connected to the patriciate of Skien, his dramas were shaped by

8 his family background. He was the father of Prime Minister Sigurd Ibsen.

9 A Doll’s House
A Doll's House is a three-act play in prose by Henrik Ibsen. It premiered at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 21 December 1879, having been published earlier that month. The play is significant for its critical attitude toward 19th century

10 marriage norms. It aroused great controversy at the time, as it concludes with the protagonist, Nora, leaving her husband and children because she wants to discover herself. Ibsen was inspired by the belief that "a woman cannot be herself in modern society," since it is "an exclusively male society, with laws made by men and with

11 prosecutors and judges who assess feminine conduct from a masculine stand point.“ Its ideas can also be seen as having a wider application: Michael Meyer argues that the play's theme is not women's rights, but rather "the need of every individual to find out the kind of person he or she really is and to strive to become that person.” In a speech given to

12 the Norwegian Association for Women's Rights in 1898, Ibsen insisted that he "must disclaim the honor of having consciously worked for the women's rights movement," since he wrote, "without any conscious thought of making propaganda," his task having been, "the description of humanity.” In 2006, A Doll's House held the

13 distinction of being the world's most performed play
distinction of being the world's most performed play. UNESCO has inscribed Ibsen's autographed manuscripts of A Doll's House on the Memory of the World Register in 2001 in recognition of their historical value.

14 Characters Nora The protagonist who appears at first to be rather shallow and in the stereotypical role of “the wife and mother.” The audience learns that Nora is actually very compassionate, devoted, and shrewd. She was

15 even willing to commit an unlawful act out of love for her husband.
When Nora’s idealism is destroyed by her husband’s condescending and belittling response to her valor, she has a revelation. By play’s end, Nora establishes her independence as a woman and a person.

16 Torvald Helmer Torvald plays the stereotypical role of domineering male. He treats Nora as if she were under his control. In fact, his relationship to her is both as domineering husband and parent. Torvald’s reaction to what Nora has hidden from him is one of anger instead of appreciation.

17 Nils Krogstad An interesting antagonist who first threatens Nora with blackmail then reverses his motives and actually saves her. In his past he is guilty for an act similar to one that Nora commits. His reaction is as much human as it is evil.

18 He plays a pivotal role in advancing the plot of the play.
His complexity, much like Torvald’s stereotypical assumptions and Nora’s evolution, reflect a realism that Ibsen introduced into the theater.

19 Christine Linde A friend of Nora’s and one time girlfriend to Krogstad’s, Christine has lived a “hard life” that has helped her develop a personal identity and granted her independence. She had to marry someone other than Krogstad out of necessity to care for her family.

20 After her family no longer needed her help and her husband died, she had to struggle on her own.
She looks to Nora for help in getting a job at the bank where Torvald has just been promoted. Even though Christine reunites with Krogstad, it is on a different level than the usual husband-wife relationship of the times.

21 Dr. Rank He is somewhat of a foil to Torvald. He actually loves Nora. Their relationship is far more mature and respectful than Nora’s and Torvald’s. Dr. Rank’s death at the time of Nora’s marriage falling apart removes the prospects of a man in her life, and thus, frees her.

22 Other characters Anne Marie (nursemaid) Helene (maid) Three children A porter

23 Act One The play opens with a cheerful Nora entering a very comfortable house carrying Christmas presents. Torvald, her husband comes out of his study to see what she has purchased. Torvald treats Nora more like a child than his wife.

24 He criticizes her for not being careful with money.
We learn that Torvald will be starting a new job after New Year’s. Ironically, when Nora defends herself as being good with money and Torvald scoffs at that, she is revealing a fact that Torvald is unaware of. Nora continues to play the role of

25 submissive wife and acts childlike in hiding the macaroons that Torvald has forbidden her to eat.
Torvald recalls the previous less festive Christmas when Nora was preoccupied with creating “decorations” and was not around. We learn later she was trying to earn extra money to pay back

26 the loan from Krogstad. Both Dr. Rand and Christine Linde show up at the Helmer’s. As Dr. Rank visits with Torvald, Nora and Mrs. Linde rediscover each other. Mrs. Linde is looking for work after losing her husband. She had married out of necessity because her own mother was ill.

27 She had two younger brothers who needed to be raised.
Now her mother is dead and her brothers have grown, but as a widow, she is alone and broke. She hopes Nora can convince Torvald to get her a job. We learn about the earlier trip that Torvald and Nora made to Italy.

28 When Mrs. Linde implies that Nora has never faced troubles, Nora explains how she secretly borrowed money to pay for the long stay in Italy to help her husband recover. She kept this from Torvald because she didn’t want to upset him. She had to work without Torvald knowing to pay back the loan.

29 Krogstad arrives at the Helmer’s house.
Krogstad works at the bank where Torvald will be his boss. Mrs. Linde tells Nora she once knew Krogstad when he was a lawyer. Nora informs Linde of Krogstad’s unhappy marriage, past illicit activity and that he now has

30 several children to care for.
Dr. Rank leaves Torvald’s study. He criticizes Krogstad’s moral character. Mrs. Linde tries to defend him. When Torvald joins the three, Nora hides the Macaroons. Nora then introduces Christine Linde to Torvald and asks if he

31 might be able to help her get employment.
Torvald thinks he can. All three leave Nora, and the children enter. Nora spends time with them until Krogstad enters the room. Krogstad and Nora have a long discussion about the loan.

32 We learn that Nora had to forge her father’s signature to get the loan, and now Krogstad is going to “blackmail” her in order to get a job at Torvlad’s new place of employment. Nora now has two very difficult problems to deal with. When her husband returns, she brings up the subject of employing

33 Krogstad. Torvald alludes to Krogstad,s “shady” past and says he would never hire such a man. Nora is left alone to deal with her dilemma.

34 Act One (through p.15) #57 LA 12 A Doll's House

35 Assignment #1 Finish Listening and reading Act One: #57 LA 12 A Doll's House

36 Act Two Go through Act One and list 5 demeaning comments Torvald makes to Nora and give a brief explanation why they are insulting.

37 English 12 - Mr. Rinka Lesson #57
Henrik Ibsen & A Doll’s House Act One

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