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A Doll's House

A Doll's House

by Henrik Ibsen

Protagonist

Character Role Analysis

Nora Helmer

Nora is the play's undisputed protagonist. The dramatic action is driven by her frustrated efforts to keep her big secret. She begs, flirts, manipulates, and even dances to try and keep the truth from Torvald. We're asked to root for her as she hopes for and fears the "wonderful thing" (2.320). Arguably, she also goes through the biggest journey out of all the characters. At the beginning of the play, we see a submissive housewife who seems almost content to play the role. By the end, she's an articulate, liberated woman. Some argue that the play's three day time period is far too short for such a drastic change. Others say that the horrible stress she was under, which forces her to consider suicide, is more than enough to make a person do some serious soul searching. What do you think?


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