Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Henrik Ibsen

Henrik Ibsen was a major 19th century Norwegian playwright, director and poet. His works shaped the modern theatre. Ibsen’s plays were considered scandalous to many of his era. One could characterize rebellious sprit and unforgiving scrutiny through his writings. A Doll’s house is a scathing criticism of the acceptance of the traditional roles of men and women in Victorian marriage. This play is also an important work of the naturalist movement, in which real events (day to day conversations) and situations are depicted on stage in a departure from previous forms as romanticism.
Mr. Pinto’s advise\observation to us was that, “We always try to place or accommodate new objects\ideas to the existing framework (which we already know). Hence, we should try to move away from what we already know and explore new possibility to fit new objects\ideas.” Similarly with Ibsen’s ‘A Doll’s House’, people could not place his works in the existing framework thus giving rise to modern theatre. This play rocked the stages of Europe when it premiered. Nora’s rejection of marriage and motherhood scandalized the contemporary audiences. Self-liberation was reflected through this play. Many could not accept ‘A Doll’s House’ till as late as 1940’s. In fact, the first German productions of the play in the 1880s used an altered ending, written by Ibsen at the request of the producers. In this ending, Nora is led to her children after having argued with Torvald. Seeing them, she collapses, and the curtain is brought down. 1970 onwards there was a shift in the theatre itself to performance studies. Accordingly, ‘A Doll’s House’ was also studied upon and perceived differently. It went back to anthropology and ethnographic studies were conducted on actors who have portrayed the role of Nora, which is one of the most challenging role in the world of theatre.


Post a Comment