Henrik Ibsen was a major 19th-century Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet. He is often referred to as "the father of prose drama" and is one of the founders of Modernism in the theatre. His major works include Brand, Peer Gynt, An Enemy of the People, Emperor and Galilean, A Doll's House, Hedda Gabler, Ghosts, and The Wild Duck.
"Although Ibsen's plays shocked contemporary audiences, they were championed by such serious critics as George Bernard Shaw and William Archer in England and Georg Brandes in Denmark. Ibsen's characters, the critics pointed out, were recognizable people; their problems were familiar to the audience. Ibsen's plays marked the end of the wildly romantic and artificial melodramas popular in the 19th century."
Ibsen is known as the father of modern prose drama. He instituted the problems of the day on the stage of his time and away from the Romantic style.
Many of Henrik Ibsen's famous plays center on small-town family life, and A Doll's House is no exception. This story also focuses on the social issues that Ibsen often touched up.
"To save her husband's life, Nora Helmer commits forgery and then desperately tries to find a way out of her dilemma. When he learns of her act and reacts selfishly, Nora comes to the realization that after eight years of marriage her husband Torvald has never thought of her as a human being."
Ibsen's character Nora has a perfect life at the beginning of the play. "When an enemy threatens to expose a carefully guarded secret, Nora’s artificially perfect life unravels. Only when it looks like she will lose everything does she realize what is truly important: her self-worth."
A Doll's House finds recurring popularity when sexual politics are dominant in debate. The inequality of women in the play is what pushes this play to popularity.
Ibsen's A Doll's House was controversial because it contained a woman seeking divorce. In 1879, when A Doll's House was completed, there had only been one divorce in Norway's history.
Ibsen's work made people of his time uncomfortable. Ibsen’s greatest plays, Peer Gynt , A Doll’s House and Hedda Gabler, were works considered immoral and scandalous in their time.
Ibsen didn't always plan to be a writer. He briefly assisted an apothecary and began medical studies before beginning a lifetime association with the theater.
Ibsen is considered the father of modern drama. After Shakespeare, his works are more frequently performed than any other playwright in the world.