Realistic prose drama
A Doll’s House is an example of realism in theater, specifically a realistic prose drama. Realism in the theater started around the 1870s as a rebellion against theatrical conventions of the time. Plays before this time period often involved plots that put characters in situations unlikely to happen in real life, and characters sometimes spoke directly to audience members through monologues. Realists saw these older plays as artificial and believed that having characters face real-life challenges would be more compelling. Consequently, Henrik Ibsen’s plays put ordinary characters through real-world struggles, and his characters speak in sentences (prose) rather than in rhyming verses. Many critics consider Ibsen the father of realistic prose drama. His plays revolutionized theater with characters and settings that were actually relatable to the audience. Ibsen further used his realistic dramas to question moral standards in the society around him, and this social commentary has become a staple of the realist genre that he pioneered.