The problem of free will in The Lady from the Sea prima facie refers to the triangle Ellida, Wangel, and the Stranger. Nonetheless, Bolette s story is the center of the analysis in this thesis. Drawing upon French existentialism, Simone de Beauvoir s feminist theory, and the facts and figures of the Norwegian socio-historical context, the present text is intended as a close reading of the play s subplot in view of the issue of freedom of choice. For that purpose, I attempt a closer examination of the most important aspects of the institution of marriage as being an imposed act upon the nineteenth-century women. I shall extend this approach to an exploration of the neglected backdrop of alternative possibilities. What I mean by this is expressed in the main question in my thesis: Why would marriage (at any cost) be the most desirable option for Bolette, and for most bourgeois women of the time? I shall seek to offer a critical reevaluation of all the labels that have been attached to this subplot thus far and attempt to answer to what degree Bolette was a helpless victim of social circumstances that erased her individuality, shaped her existence, and subsequently orchestrated her unhappy fate.