On Friday the 30th of January 2004 I took part in a scene from Ibsen's play; The Dolls House. The character I played was Helmer, husband to Nora. Helmer is your ideal old-fashioned husband with traditional values; who believes the mother should be a homebound, looking after the children figure, and he should bring the money home. Also he tries to keep a respectful family. He descends from a middle class background so he doesn't see a problem with his outlook on controlling his wife's life as it was quite a standard way of living for the time. He is demanding and unfair, which results in a controversial action (in his eyes) being carried out by his wife. My impression of Helmer is he is a chauvinistic control freak spellbound by the status quo of the late 19th century. Whereas I am a young modern mould of the individual equal rights credence of today's retro 21st century.
His background was a significant fact concerning acting the role out, it becomes perceptive when you look at the language of the play. If it was a Shakespeare play then it wouldn't be as much of a quandary as Shakespeare's Iambic Pentameter has a nostalgic feel, as does most of his play texts but unfortunately this wasn't the case in this play. An example of Helmer being assertive toward Nora is as follows.
Helmer; shouldn't you first understand your place in your own home? Haven't you an infallible guide in such matters, your religion.
Now 300yrs earlier a simmiliar sort of assertiveness by Old Capulet to lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet regarding their daughter's marriage to Parris would of sounded like this;
Old Capulet; ...Who, raging with thy tears, and they with them,
Without a sudden calm will overset,
The tempest tossed...