The Lark's Lonely Twittering: An Analysis of the Monologues in A Doll's House
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionIbsen Studies. 2019, 19 (2), 88-121. 10.1080/15021866.2019.1640928
In this article we examine Ibsen’s use of monologues in A Doll’s House. The use of monologues in this play has been criticized, and by some characterized as old and conventional, while others have considered this a futile device. However, previous scholars and critics have neither agreed on the number of monologues, nor about where in the play these monologues appear. Our close reading shows that there are as many as nineteen monologues in the play, several in each act, and that three of the characters express themselves in monologues. We find surprising dramaturgic patterns in the use of this device, and this indicates that Ibsen’s use of monologues in A Doll’s House has a more important function than the literature about A Doll’s House until now has found. Our intention in this article is not to give a new interpretation of A Doll’s House, but to examine Ibsen’s use of monologues in the play, to reflect on the questions of why Ibsen made use of this device, and to consider what aesthetic functions this device might have.