Article Title

The Ending of A Doll House and Augier's Maître Guérin


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

Few plays in theatrical history have had the impact of A Doll House, which, according to Ibsen's Norwegian biographer, "burst upon the contemporary scene like a bombshell."1 Today, as the conception of what constitutes modern drama broadens and grows more complex, one seldom hears the play spoken of as "the turning point in the history of drama" or its first performance as "the birth of modern drama,"2 but such expressions used to be commonplace, and in any event there can be no doubt of the tremendous importance of the play for Ibsen's career (its production nearly everywhere in Europe during the 1880's made Ibsen a dramatist of worldwide fame), for contemporary social thought (the issues it raised were avidly discussed both publicly and privately, even to the extent that ultimately dinner invitations often contained a warning that discussion of the play would not be tolerated), and, of course, for the history of drama (for which A Doll House provided, if not a "turning point," at least an exciting new model that other dramatists were quick to imitate).

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