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Loyalty duty obligation These are only some of the social laws that Henrik Ibsen wrote out against in his later works Ibsen believed that these bourgeois beliefs were hindering the individuals as well as the nations realization of the self To Ibsen it was far more important to have the freedom to express oneself than to adhere to outdated conventional ideas In A Doll House and Ghosts both heroines are forced to confront these social hindrances Both women attempt to overcome these powerful restraints in their attempts to find themselves one more successfully than the other Ibsens effect on his contemporaries and his influence on the course of modern drama were immediate and profound1 More than any other dramatist he gave theater a new vitality by bringing into European bourgeois drama an ethical gravity a psychological depth and a social significance which the theater had lacked since the days of Shakespeare For the better part of fifty years Ibsen contributed to giving European drama a vitality and artistic quality comparable to the ancient Greek tragedies This contribution to theatrical history gained for Ibsen the reputation of being the greatest and most influential dramatist of his time He gave the stage its first distinctively modern characters complex contradictory individuals driven by a desire for something - the joy of life a sense of themselves - that they can barely recognize or name2 His realistic contemporary drama was a continuation of the European tradition of tragic plays In these plays he portrays ordinary middle class people of his day Routines and schedules usually taken for granted are suddenly turned upside down as they are forced to confront a major crisis Nora in A Doll House must finally confess to her husband that she borrowed money illegally in a desperate attempt to save him A fact she is terrified
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