Henrik Ibsen 's A Doll 's House

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Acclaimed as one of the principal playwrights that gave birth to modernism in theatre, Norwegian playwright and theatre director Henrik Ibsen pushed boundaries with his plays that analyzed and criticized societal norms and values. A Doll’s House provides one such example, where the play’s protagonist Nora leaves her husband in the final scene to undertake a spiritual journey of self-discovery. An alternative ending was made for this play posthumously as a result of the controversy it caused at the time. Written towards the latter half of Ibsen’s career, Hedda Gabler also presents a strong female character that questions that boundaries society has confined women to in that era. Some readers would consider Hedda Gabler to be a modern tragedy about a woman who fights against social constructs but meets a tragic end in her death However, other readers have interpreted Hedda as a vindictive and manipulative person with a bleak and cruel outlook of life. As a result of Hedda’s actions, such readers argue that she does not possess the qualities to be defined as a tragic figure. So what qualities make a character tragic and how does one go about defining a tragic hero? Aristotle offers a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the elements that a tragedy consists of in The Poetics. Known as one of the earliest surviving documents discussing dramatic theory, Aristotle presents ideas and arguments that are widely accepted by dramaturgs and are still useful in analyzing more

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