Helmer at the end of the play?
Disillusioned by his own society and country, Ibsen together with his son and wife, boarded a ship and left Norway, figuratively slamming the door behind him. Fifteen years later a similarly disillusioned Nora Helmer would slam the door on stage at the end of A Dolls House, helping to change the course of modern drama.
It was A Dolls House, which carried his name beyond Scandinavia and to the remotest parts of civilization. It was a play that's attacked marriage from the standpoint of feminine individualism.
The final slamming of the door at the end of A Dolls House is very dramatic. A good deal of the rest of the play is, though, very discursive, and this is one of the hallmarks of Ibsen's realist drama from his middle period. There is a lot of dramatic tension and excitement in the whole of the play, the tension builds up as the play goes on.
Nora's terror as she tries to divert her husband from the letter box into which, at any moment, she expects Krogstad's blackmailing letter to drop, is forcefully conveyed to the audience as she bangs on the piano, frantically rehearsing the opening bars of the tarantella she will later perform so hysterically to her husband.
The dance that is done by Nora is a mad and frenzied dance, it is a manifestation of Nora's desperate plight. She is dressed up like a doll, just as so to please her husband. The dance releases an almost unbearable tension in the play, which Ibsen has built up in a number of ways.
His enclosure of the play's dramatic action in a single room, and Nora's inclusion in every scene, effectively create a stifling atmosphere from which it becomes increasingly imperative that she should attempt to break free. Her continual juggling of visitors, her attempts to prevent Krogstad from her husband in his own house, and her intense efforts to conceal information from Torvald, all contribute to a mounting...