In his 1879 play, A Doll's House, Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen (1828–1906) employs the dramatic structure of a "well-made play," which was originated by French dramatist Eugène Scribe (1791–1861).
The "well-made play" structure is independent of the number of acts in a play and refers to the essential dramatic elements of the play: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution (or denouement).
The exposition is the introduction of the information that the audience needs to know to be able to follow the action of the play.
In A Doll's House, the exposition includes Nora's conversations with her husband, Torvald Helmer; with her school friend, Mrs. Linde; and with a bank employee, Nils Krogstad.
Scribe believed that a "secret" held by one or more characters in a play was essential to help build the audience's interest, and that criteria is fulfilled by Nora secretly securing a loan used to pay for Torvald's recuperative vacation to Italy.
The rising action develops and expands...
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