Approaches to Teaching Ibsen’s A Doll House

  • Editor: Yvonne Shafer
  • Pages: xv & 139 pp.
  • Published: 1985
  • ISBN: 9780873524872 (Cloth)
  • ISBN: 9780873524889 (Paperback)
Approaches to Teaching Ibsen's A Doll House Cover

“Today the lively state of Ibsen production, the critical reappraisals of his work, and the availability of modern, colloquial translations afford us an unprecedented opportunity to study and appreciate Ibsen’s A Doll House both on the stage and in print. The challenge for the instructor teaching the play is to bring the literary and theatrical dimensions together.”

—Yvonne Shafer, from the introduction

Since its publication over a century ago, A Doll House has often been narrowly read as a single-thesis play—as a commentary on women’s rights. Recent scholarship and criticism, however, suggest multiple interpretations of Ibsen’s most famous work; teachers of A Doll House can profit from these new perspectives and lead their students to an appreciation of many different aspects of the play.

The volume, like others in the MLA’s Approaches to Teaching World Literature series, is divided into two parts. The first part, “Materials,” analyzes the faults and merits of the many available translations of A Doll House and recommends background materials and supplemental readings for both teachers and students. The second part, “Approaches,” samples many ways to teach the play in the classroom. The first three essays show how to incorporate the play into introductory courses on literature and composition; the following four essays focus on teaching the play in more advanced classes on dramatic literature. The remaining seven essays present specific strategies, such as using feminist approaches, examining performances of the play, and comparing A Doll House to Ibsen’s other plays in a graduate seminar.