Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Doll's House” as Want to Read:
A Doll's House
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Doll's House

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  112,498 ratings  ·  4,318 reviews

A Doll's House (1879), is a masterpiece of theatrical craft which, for the first time portrayed the tragic hypocrisy of Victorian middle class marriage on the stage. The play ushered in a new social era and "exploded like a bomb into contemporary life". 

The Student Edition contains these exclusive features:

·         A chronology of the playwright's life and

Paperback, 122 pages
Published 2007 by Hard Press (first published 1879)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  112,498 ratings  ·  4,318 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Doll's House
Ahmad Sharabiani
Et Dukkehjem = A Doll's House and Other Plays, Henrik Ibsen

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 21 December 1879, having been published earlier that month.

The play is set in a Norwegian town circa 1879. 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.

Ghosts (Gengangere)
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, drama
Ibsen’s famous A Doll’s House is a landmark in the development of truly independent female heroines, rejecting the patriarchy they were socialised to accept unconditionally.

Nora, the main character, fails to make her husband understand that their perception of reality is incompatible as he keeps seeing her as a doll, acting out a pretty life for his pleasure and reputation.

In the original version, Nora shows the path to independence by opting for the uncertain future of a life lived alone and
Ahmad Sharabiani
Dukkehjem = A Doll House = A doll's House, Henrik Ibsen

A Doll's House, is a three-act play written by Henrik Ibsen. It premiered at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 21 December 1879, having been published earlier that month. The play is set in a Norwegian town circa 1879.

Act One: The play opens at Christmas time as Nora Helmer enters her home carrying many packages. Nora's husband Torvald is working in his study when she arrives. He playfully rebukes her for spending so much money o
Sean Barrs
Feb 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Imagine what it would be like to live in a doll’s house: it's a house in which you are controlled and have no power to make any strong decisions; it's a house in which you are a play thing for someone else’s entertainment. This sounds a lot like a bad marriage, so it's a house in which your husband holds the purse strings, so to speak, and leaves you with no control over your family’s finances. Indeed, your husband keeps you on a very tight leash. Such is the perceived life of Nora Helma.


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Jul 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bingo-2016, classics
This is the story of a marriage that superficially seems happy, but a critical turn of events reveals a sham relationship.


Torvald and Nora Helmer, who've had some financial struggles, are delighted because Torvald has gotten major promotion at the bank where he works. But Nora, behind her lightheartedness and childish behavior - encouraged, always, by Torvald, who calls her diminutive, vaguely (or sometimes explicitly) insulting names names like "my sweet tooth" and "little spendthrift" - is hid
Jun 28, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, plays
I read Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House back in high school as required reading but did not grasp the scope of his masterpiece then. Ibsen penned his classic play about the story of Nora and Thorvald Helmer at a time in his life when he was coping with his former love Laura being confined to an insane asylum. In 1872 Laura married a man other than Ibsen and he fell ill with a lethal disease. Their doctors prescribed a southern climate but Laura did not have funds to move her husband to such a clima ...more
Mar 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
First things first. Nora, the protagonist of Ibsen's A Doll's House, is a twit. There's no getting around it. We may choose to assign blame for her twittishness to her husband, her milieu, or her era, but this will never adequately mitigate her essential twit nature to that reader or spectator of the play who must endure her self-identification as her husband's 'squirrel' or her childlike idiocy. I myself couldn't stop wondering if Nora is an actual twit (i.e., a twit absolutely, regardless of h ...more
Jun 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, classics
oh, nora. you are much maligned, and yet. i wonder why people find you so much more annoying than emma bovary, etc.

i think there's so much about this play as a historical document that i appreciate and enjoy and love that sometimes i forget it's supposed to be a PLAY.

that said, i don't think nora was *supposed* to be entirely sympathetic. i think her annoying behaviors are supposed to get on your nerves - but somewhere, i think, Ibsen hoped that you would see the way she acts is not simply who
May 22, 2008 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 29, 2013 rated it liked it
A Doll’s House by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen is alike with Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises in that it may more often than not be misinterpreted.

First published in 1879, the play tells the story of Nora Helmer and her marriage to Torvald Helmer. But the play also depicts two other female characters and between the three Ibsen has composed a female triumvirate of the European nineteenth century Everywoman. Along with Nora are Kristine and Anne Marie, who Ibsen has displayed as a fema
Dave Schaafsma
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: drama
“HELMER: But this is disgraceful. Is this the way you neglect your most sacred duties?

NORA: What do you consider is my most sacred duty?

HELMER: Do I have to tell you that? Isn't it your duty to your husband and children?

NORA: I have another duty, just as sacred.

HELMER: You can't have. What duty do you mean?

NORA: My duty to myself.”

The Doll’s House is an 1879 masterpiece play about Nora Helmer, married to Torvald; Nora is treated, as she herself observes, as her husband’s little pampered doll, in
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
“HELMER: ‘You can’t deny it, little Nora, now can you?’ [Putting an arm around her waist] ‘It’s a sweet little bird, but it gets through a terrible amount of money. You wouldn’t believe how much it costs a man when he’s got a little song bird like you!’

NORA: ‘Oh, how can you say that? I really do save all I can.’

HELMER [laughing]:‘Yes, that’s very true “all you can”. But the thing is, you CAN'T!’

NORA [nodding and smiling happily] ‘Ah, if you only knew what expenses we skylarks and squirrels
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My 3rd best read of 2020.
Video review here (my first video, terribly filmed!)
This is the perfect play, and as of 2020 my favourite play of all time. I will thoroughly defend my case below (NO spoilers).

Why read?
First, as a medium, more than novels or poems, plays must get right to the point. This because it takes a long time to make something happen on a stage. Brushing one's teeth could take more a second to read but a minute to watch in all its complexity on stage.

Second, nobody wants to pay
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: play, classics
“It is so marvelous to live and be happy.”

I have a confession to make. I always thought A Doll’s House was a children’s story. How wrong was I! So much to learn…so much to learn…

A Doll’s House is a controversial three-act play about the self-discovery of one woman who goes against conventions and rules of a man-made society.
Nora is a married woman, who does everything to make her husband and children happy and content. She is supposed to dress up and look pretty. She is referred to by her husba
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let's leave Nora for a second and talk about the tragic figure of Torvald Helmer.

It struck me today while rereading The Doll's House that I had completely missed the important statement Ibsen makes on men in patriarchy, blinded as I was by my furious cheering for Nora's emancipation.

While following her path to shed the idiocy of her existence as a little pretty plaything, I missed the sad storyline of the little boy who broke his toy because he simply was too ignorant and spoiled to understand
This is a brilliant play by Henrik Ibsen which is also my first introduction to the author. The play mainly revolves around the theme of a woman's place in society as opposed to the woman's right of independence and individuality.

Nora Helmer, the main protagonist, has a secret to conceal from her conservative husband. This secret is a cause of action that has been taken by her which is although partly a crime, has been done in good faith and to the advantage of her family at a difficult time. Ho
Ibsen claimed he wasn't denouncing 19th century marriage norms with this play, he was just "describing humanity". I take that to mean he thinks these kinds of things, like wives leaving their husbands, happened everyday. In fact they probably did, or even worse, especially in literature, if Tolstoy's Anna or Flaubert's Emma can be used as examples. Whatever Ibsen's intent, the play had an impact, and it's success has helped solidify his position as one of the worlds best playwrights. ...more
Aug 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: women, men, citizens of eart over age 22-23?
I read this in college (of course) and didn't "get it" until I taught it a few years ago when I took over an Introduction to Drama as Literature course for another instructor. Wow, Ibsen understood how stifling marriage was for women in this era and how hypocritical men were. I would go into more detail but don't want to drop a "spoiler." A must-read, a classic, but I don't know at what age most readers will get it. This is why I think you should be required to have the practice marriage that do ...more
Nov 30, 2016 rated it liked it

i respect this play for how badass it was for its time, and i think everyone should read it at some point or another. (it has a lot to say about nineteenth century female oppression/gender roles/etc.) but the execution can be grating and come off as unrealistic, and ibsen's idea of men and women having separate, gendered moral compasses doesn't fully sit well with me. (he thought of western law being male, and it's unfair for women to have to live like men. sweeping generalizations about g
You'll ask me, "Why five stars?"
I'll answer, "Why not?" even though I felt like docking off one at first. Well, the reason is Nora and the last few dialogues of the play and probably my obsession with feminism (thanks to Ms. Atwood!)
The play overwhelmed me so much that I am now ready to disagree with anyone who has anything to say against Nora and hit all those who call Ibsen a destroyer of domestic felicity. All I have to say is if you want to know why they call Ibsen "the father of pro
Nora a woman who comes to understand that her marriage wasnt as she supposed it to be , an illusion, and that her husband is a very different person from she once believed him to be..when he cant undergo one of the hardships in their life for her sake ....

She leaves her husband and her children because she feels it is for their benefit..
her husband accused her of being a "child-wife"she feels that he was right, that she is a child who knows nothing of the world. Since she knows so little about
Jul 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Barbie make me pretty
Recommended to Mariel by: the establishment
Helmer: Just think how a guilty man like that has to lie and play the hypocrite with every one, how he has to wear a mask in the presence of those near and dear to him, even before his own wife and children. And about the children- that is the most terrible part of it all, Nora.
Nora: How?
Helmer: Because such an atmosphere of lies infects and poisons the whole life of a home. Each breath the children take in such a house is full of the germs of evil.
Nora (coming nearer him): Are you sure of that
Jenny (Reading Envy)
My first read for the Books and Chocolate (blog) Back to the Classics challenge - a play, to fulfill this item:
12. Classic Play. Any play written or performed at least 50 years ago. Plays are eligible for this category only.

The play premiered in Copenhagen in 1879. Ibsen was asked to write an additional ending for German audiences, one that ends more wretchedly and punishing for the woman.

The play is set in a small Norwegian town in 1879, and takes place entirely inside a house. Technically th
Olivia (Stories For Coffee)
The first two acts dragged on for me and made me think nothing spectacular of this play, but it's only when I hit Act III that I fell head over heels for this story and Nora's strength.

A Doll's House follows a woman whose husband coddles and treats her like a clueless doll only to realize that she is incredibly intelligent, capable, and has gone through such lengths, which he was initially unaware of, to save his life. From blackmail to deceit, Ibsen showcases the lengths that women go through
A doll's house. What image comes to mind when you hear those words? A "perfect" family? A peaceful, innocent domestic situation? Friends dropping in? Preparations for a holiday celebration? Play-time! Yes, Nora and Torvald seem to have the perfect life. Certainly, they have weathered some challenges in life but they have survived. Here we see them with a lovely home, two servants, three playful children, friends, and enough money to celebrate Christmas in the traditional way.

Nora plays with the
Apr 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: norwegian, play
"Look into any man’s heart you please and you will always find, in everyone at least one black spot which he has to keep concealed." – Henrik Ibsen

Let me snatch my tambourine out of the box and let me hurriedly drape myself in my Kashmiri pashmina shawl. I do not have a parti-colored shawl like Nora. You sit at the piano like Helmer and play the first bars of the tarantella. But I will not dance violently like Nora. She was panicked. She was afraid of the consequences. She was too much fearful
Lucy Banks
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
SUCH an important book (or play, if we're being precise).

I love Ibsen's plays, not least for their disarming honesty and commentary on human nature (I'm a particular sucker for The Master Builder!) - and A Doll's House is an extraordinary feat of achievement, given that it was written in the late 19th century... and we all know how women were perceived back then...

Nora's triumphant break-through, from vacuous housewife to fierce, independent woman, is a joy to read; not least because it was al
Lisa N
Oct 24, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Our home has been nothing but a playroom.

What a wonderful surprise! I didn't expect to be so moved. The honesty is scalding. My reading as of late has focused on language: an exploration of poetics and the resonance of such. Ibsen acted as a sort of antithesis to that approach and the experience was all the more satisfying. Remarkably modern, We find Nora a wife and mother—who out of interest for her husband she has blurred the lines of propriety. This incident bobs to the surface the trials in
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What Happened After? 7 250 Apr 23, 2021 08:54AM  
Discuss the relevance of the tittle 1 13 May 06, 2019 11:10AM  
Zehn interessante Dinge über Sex Dolls 1 3 Feb 21, 2019 03:00AM  
Never too Late to...: 2018 October Play: A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen 14 28 Oct 22, 2018 09:04AM  
Catching up on Cl...: A Doll's House - April 2017 62 175 Apr 24, 2018 03:32AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Miss Julie
  • Waiting for Godot
  • The Glass Menagerie
  • Death of a Salesman
  • A Streetcar Named Desire
  • Oedipus Rex  (The Theban Plays, #1)
  • A Dream Play
  • The Cherry Orchard
  • Medea
  • The Seagull
  • Antigone (The Theban Plays, #3)
  • Six Characters in Search of an Author
  • Hamlet
  • Trifles
  • Mother Courage and Her Children
  • The Three Sisters
  • A Doll's House, Part 2
  • Räddad
See similar books…
Henrik Johan Ibsen was a major Norwegian playwright largely responsible for the rise of modern realistic drama. He is often referred to as the "father of modern drama." Ibsen is held to be the greatest of Norwegian authors and one of the most important playwrights of all time, celebrated as a national symbol by Norwegians.

His plays were considered scandalous to many of his era, when Victorian valu

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
42 likes · 12 comments
“You have never loved me. You have only thought it pleasant to be in love with me.” 319 likes
“HELMER: But this is disgraceful. Is this the way you neglect your most sacred duties?

NORA: What do you consider is my most sacred duty?

HELMER: Do I have to tell you that? Isn't it your duty to your husband and children?

NORA: I have another duty, just as sacred.

HELMER: You can't have. What duty do you mean?

NORA: My duty to myself.”
More quotes…