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Alex Nesbitt

Facts about Henrik Ibsen

• At 18 Ibsen had an illegitimate son with a servant-girl, despite


paying child support for 14 years
• Ibsen’s father was a merchant but failed and lost the family
their fortune
• The characters in Ibsen’s play often mirror his parents and
have themes relating to his life experiences, such as financial
difficulty
• Ibsen left home at 15 years old and became an apprentice
pharmacist
• He used the pseudonym Brynjolf Bjarme when he published
his first play, the tragedy Catiline (1850), when he was only
20, though it was not performed.
• Ibsen’s first play to be performed, The Burial Mound, and
numerous plays he wrote in the following years were mostly
unsuccessful, until his play Brand, in 1865 finally brought him
critical acclaim.

Facts about ‘The Doll’s House’

• The Doll’s house was controversial when published for


criticising the norms of 19th century marriage and is often
called the first true feminist play, although Ibsen said he didn’t
want it to be a feminist play.
• The play was based on the life of a friend of Ibsen’s, Laura
Kieler, much that happened to the characters in the play
happened between her and her husband in real-life
• In Germany, the lead actress refused to act the part of Nora
until Ibsen changed the ending of the play, at the end, giving
the husband another chance. This ending was unpopular and
Ibsen later regretted writing it.
• The play breaks convention with the story it tells and with its
format, ending in a discussion, not an unravelling.
• In 2001, the autographed manuscripts of The Doll’s House
were on the Memory of the World Register in recognition of
their historical value
• The play is an important part of the natural movement,
depicting real life events rather than the normally used forms,
like romanticism.