A Doll’s House is a three-act play written by Norway’s Henrik Ibsen. It premiered at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark, on December 21, 1879.
The play is set in a Norwegian town circa 1879. A Doll’s House was based on the life of Laura Kieler, a good friend of Ibsen. Much that happened between Nora and Torvald happened to Laura and her husband, Victor. Similar to the events in the play, Laura signed an illegal loan to save her husband. She wanted the money to find a cure for her husband’s tuberculosis. She wrote to Ibsen, asking for his recommendation of her work to his publisher, thinking that the sales of her book would repay her debt. At his refusal, she forged a check for the money. At this point she was found out.
In real life, when Victor discovered Laura’s secret loan, he divorced her and had her committed to an asylum. Two years later, she returned to her husband and children at his urging, and she went on to become a well-known Danish author, living to the age of 83.
The play is significant for the way it deals with the fate of a married woman, who at the time in Norway lacked reasonable opportunities for self-fulfillment in a male-dominated world. It aroused a great sensation at the time and caused a storm of outraged controversy that went beyond the theater to the world newspapers and society.