ibsen2.jpg Henrik Ibsen was born on March 20, 1828 in Skien, Norway and lived until May 23, 1906. He was born the eldest of five children to Knud Ibsen and Marichen Altenburg a wealthy merchant family. Shortly after Ibsen was born the family developed financial problems. During his childhood a rumor was circulated that he was the illegitimate son of another man, the rumor was never proven to be true, but however, the theme of illegitimate offspring shows up in many of Ibsen’s plays .

The themes and ideas suggested in Ibsen’s plays were controversial during the time. The characters in Ibsen’s plays are often similar to his parents and the conflicts seem to deal with dark secrets hidden from society. For example, in A Doll’s House, Nora and Helmer strived to maintain the appearance of having a perfect marriage to both each other and society. They hid their faults from each other placing the other on a pedestal, thinking they could do no wrong. This play explores the difference between marriage and love. Ibsen wrote mainly about middle class life in the suburbs and small towns. His main focus was on psychological conflicts and inner emotions as opposed to dramatic events.