Realism is the movement toward representing reality as it is, in art. Realistic drama is an attempt to portray life on stage, a movement away from the conventional melodramas and sentimental comedies of the 1700s. It is expressed in theatre through the use of symbolism, character development, stage setting and storyline and is exemplified in plays such as Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House and Anton Chekhov's The Three Sisters. The arrival of realism was indeed good for theatre as it promoted greater audience involvement and raised awareness of contemporary social and moral issues. It also provided and continues to provide a medium through which playwrights can express their views about societal values, attitudes and morals. A Doll's House is the tragedy of a Norwegian housewife who is compelled to challenge law, society and her husband's value system. It can be clearly recognized as a realistic problem drama, for it is a case where the individual is in opposition to a hostile society. Ibsen's sympathy with the feminine cause has been praised and criticized; as he requires the audience to judge the words and actions of the characters in order to reassess the values of society. The characters in A Doll's House are quite complex and contradictory, no longer stereotypes. In Act II, Nora expresses her repulsion about a fancy dress worn to please Torvald (her husband): "I wish I'd torn it to pieces"; she attempts to restore it and resign herself to her situation right after: "I'll ask Mrs Linde to help". In Act III, Torvald ignores his wife's plea for forgiveness in order to make a moral judgement: "You've killed my happiness.You've destroyed my future". "I can never trust you again." Later on in the same act, he
contradicts himself: "I'll change. I can change-"; much after Nora confronts him: "Sit here, Torvald. We have to come to terms". "
There's a lot to say". Here, Ibsen shows us he has worked in depth with the psychology of the characters, giving them a sense of...
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