Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House

1053 Words5 Pages
Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House Ibsens's play is a modern tragedy which functions on two levels, questioning the established social order of the day and presenting the death of a marriage. Both these events create a great deal of tension, and combined with the language and actions used by the characters, make the play very intense. The main cause of dramatic tension throughout the play is the way that the difference between the real nature of the characters and the roles they are assigned by society is presented. This difference is demonstrated by the disparity in the action of the characters in comparison with their lexical choice. The initial impression given by the opening scene is of a happy traditional household. The first element of dramatic tension in the play is introduced when Nora demonstrates this inconsistency when she lies to Helmer about having eaten macaroons, Helmer: "Has my little sweet-tooth been indulging herself in town today, by any chance?" Nora: "No, how can you think such a thing?" It displays the way in which Nora is not always entirely honest with Helmer in order to maintain the inferior and obeying image he has of her. It indicates that all is not as it first appears, creating dramatic irony and tension, as the audience are aware of the truth, yet Helmer is not. The immediate declarative used, "No" followed by the interrogative "How can you think such a thing" displays that Nora is firstly attempting to remove all doubt of her innocence, and then switch the focus of the conversation to Helmer to distract from the fact that it is she who is lying. Language is used to create dramatic tension as the different registers used by the characters in different situa... ... middle of paper ... ...s something is going to happen or its near the end Unexpected turn when Mrs Linde says Helmer must know the truth Nora HINTS AT PLOT Helmer points out Nora's vulnerability - what would happen if he died. When Helmer condemns Krogstad - dramatic irony because audience know Nora has done the same as him. WAITING Nora almost telling Helmer but delayed as Dr rank drops in and gives black crosses so she has to wait longer. Helmer goes to study to read the letter - audience and Nora are waiting to see what happens when he returns. DESPERATION Krogstad warns Nora against suicide - shows how desperate she must be. Tarantella dance displays her desperation physically. IMAGERY The Christmas tree reflects Nora's state (e.g. bright and colourful at the beginning, candles burnt out nearer the end) Fancy dress represents Nora wearing her false self

More about Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House

Open Document