William Shakespeare and Henrik Ibsen

William Shakespeare and Henrik Ibsen are two great authors of their time and are still read by many today. William Shakespeare wrote many plays; one that is more well known is Hamlet. Henrik Ibsen is a not so well known author but wrote a great rival play named A Doll’s House. These two plays were extraordinary for their time and there has been much controversy and debates on which play made the greatest impact to culture and society. These two plays, written in very different time periods, show alternative views on society and how it should be.

Hamlet was written in the early 1600’s right before Shakespeare died. This play portrays society in such a way by showing how easily the public is fooled by people of authority. Shakespeare was writing this play as a form of entertainment but it is now seen as how society used to be. All of the deaths and the general setting of the play describes how society was back then and in essence, Shakespeare was just writing it to entertain and not to show how society was. When Hamlet ends up dying in the end of the play, it wasn’t there to show how society was but to merely entertain.

Shakespeare showed how Europe was in the late 1500’s to early 1600’s, but in that time it was for pure entertainment. This so called entertainment showed society the possible uncertainties their lives were based upon. Henrik Ibsen’s, A Doll’s House, took a very different outlook on society in not showing how it was but rather how it should be. Ibsen has set up an environment where women cannot decide on their own, but presents two female characters in the bok that go beyond this thinking and do things themselves.

One of the women gets her own job and the other leaves her daughter for adoption. Thus showing they are making their own decisions in life. This is unheard of in the 1800’s and shows Ibsen trying to have a society in which women do have an identity in society and can be heard. Throughout the play, a women is shown doing her own thinking and not listening to what men have to say even though that is not how it used to be. Ibsen creates this new society in which anyone, no matter the gender, should be able to make their own decisions about life and how to live it.

Anton Chekhov’s “A Marriage Proposal” and Susan Glaspell’s “Trifles” are two plays that deal with somewhat similar issues that Shakespeare and Ibsen wrote about. “A Marriage Proposal” is a play that seems to match Shalespeare’s “Hamlet” more that Ibsen. There is a female and two males in the story and there is an argument over whose land is whose and whose dog is surely better. This play does not show any hint towards women rights or gender equality and what not. This play deals more with entertainment purposes rather then proving a point and trying to show gender indifference.

Susan Glaspell wrote “Trifles” and it is a play about a woman with power. A woman kills a man in the play and she admits to doing it showing that she is in control. Since there is a woman in the play that is in control and has a right to identity, this play relates more to Ibsen’s “A Doll House. ” Glaspell shows that women do have a mind of their own and that they do not need a man or anyone else to tell them how to do things. All these plays have something in common and that is that they are written for entertainment.

A Doll’s House” and “Trifles” are written for entertainment and for the sole purpose of showing society that gender should not make a difference and that females can and do have the ability to think for themselves. They are real life related plays and deal with real life scenarios. “Hamlet” and “A Marriage Proposal” deal with normal day to day things but do not deal with such things as gender role and female roles in society. These authors have displayed what society is and what they want society to be in each of their writings and it shows that no matter what era of time, we all are human and need to be treated so.