I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Paul Larkin

A New Life

Nora Helmer in A Doll’s House has lived a lie in order to fulfil the ideal of the perfect marriage. Mrs Alving in Ghosts has played a long-drawn-out game of humouring her husband’s debauchery while being in love with someone else. On discovering that her son Oswald has inherited syphilis from his father she has to decide whether to administer euthanasia. Could there be any greater destruction of an ideal? Time and again in Ibsen’s plays, society’s binding communal ideals are revealed as impossible to attain: the only answer is to break away and live as a free individual.