What is the acting style of A Doll's House?

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Being made in a more realist style of drama, the acting method called for in A Doll's House is necessarily more intimate and restrained.

Much of nineteenth century drama was more histrionic and grand, which works when one is playing in a story that is larger than life, such as...

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Being made in a more realist style of drama, the acting method called for in A Doll's House is necessarily more intimate and restrained.

Much of nineteenth century drama was more histrionic and grand, which works when one is playing in a story that is larger than life, such as Shakespeare's Richard III or a melodrama. However, A Doll's House is not about great people in historical/mythic situations, nor is it a simple tale of good versus evil. It involves people the audience would have seen as familiar in their own lives—normal people like them caught up in a sad, frustrating situation.

At the end of the nineteenth century, a more realistic mode of acting was coming into vogue with the advent of realist plays such as this. This realism is part of why the play was so shocking when it premiered in 1879: it felt real and asked hard questions about marriage and women that nineteenth century society was reluctant to challenge.

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A Doll's House is one of the first plays that fell under the genre of Realistic Drama. Realistic drama became popular in the middle of the 19th century. Prior to this time, the usual genres for plays were either heroic dramas or Romantic dramas, and the French drama also known as the "well-made" drama. In both, people were idealized, the language was exaggerated, the themes were historical or mythological, and the overall style of acting was very affective.

Realistic dramas, contrastingly, for the first time presented a typical scene of a typical moment in real life, spoken naturally, and getting away from overpowering language, intonation, or gestures.

Since the character of Nora is already dramatic and exaggerated, she would accentuate the realistic nature of the acting with her character's personality traits. Other than that, realistic drama is typical, expected, and as natural as can be.

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