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“The Sacred Duty”—Oscar Wild’s “Lady Windermere’s Fan”, a Response to “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen: A Comparative Study

DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1106990, PP. 1-8

Subject Areas: Literature, Linguistics

Keywords: Henrik Ibsen, Oscar Wilde, Sacred Duty, Anomalous Position, Victorian Period, A Doll’s House, Anti-Ibsenist Movement, Lady Windemere’s Fan

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This article primarily investigates on “the sacred duty” depicted in “A Doll’s House” (1879) (1889-the English translation) by Henrik Ibsen and “Lady Windemere’s Fan” (1892) by Oscar Wilde, which was staged almost simultaneously in London. Nora’s leaving from her doll’s house stressing her duty to herself and desire to be herself created a huge controversy in traditional Victorian society. A Doll’s house sheds lights on the anomalous position of women in the male-dominant society and due to the intense public discussion about the play, there came up Ibsenist and anti-Ibsenist movement. Oscar Wilde, on the other hand, being an unconventional literary figure in the late Victorian period, seems to have provided a bold response to “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen through his well-made play, Lady Windermere’s Fan in which the protagonist, Lady Windermere left home on a rash decision and made her mind to return when she was reminded of her sacred duty towards her child. The paper concludes showcasing that Nora’s decision to leave her doll’s house looks fair enough in the circumstances around her whereas Lady Windermere returning to her family to perform her “sacred duty” must also be praised as she was misled by a baseless misconception.

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Gamage, K. G. S. (2020). “The Sacred Duty”—Oscar Wild’s “Lady Windermere’s Fan”, a Response to “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen: A Comparative Study. Open Access Library Journal, 7, e6990. doi:


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