This program, narrated by Ibsen biographer Michael Meyer, charts the development of Henrik Ibsen's style over four periods: his early years of failure; his epic dramas; his sociological plays, such as A Doll's House, Ghosts, and Rosmersholm; and his final plays, including Hedda Gabler, The Master Builder, and Little Eyolf, in which he dealt with the dark interior of the human soul. Televised productions and theater excerpts showcase Ibsen's works, while writers John Mortimer and D. M. Thomas and psychologist Anthony Storr consider their complexity and treatment of daring themes such as women's rights, venereal disease, and parental responsibility. (58 minutes)
Nora is sheltered first by her father and then by her husband. All her life, she has been protected like a fragile possession ... like a doll in a doll's house. Years ago, Nora Helmer committed a forgery in order to save the life of her authoritarian husband Torvald. Now she is being blackmailed lives in fear of her husband's finding out and of the shame such a revelation would bring. But when the truth comes out, Torvald reveals himself for what he really is, and then desperately tries to patch things up and resume his role. But everything has changed. Shocked to learn where she really stands in her husband's esteem, Nora can pretend no longer, and leaves to be free. Torvald is left wondering how he had ever been such a fool to think she would be with him forever.