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Protagonist

Character Role Analysis

Nora Helmer

Nora is the play's undisputed protagonist: this is 100% the Nora Show. The dramatic action is driven by her frustrated efforts to keep her big secret. She begs, flirts, manipulates, and even dances to try to keep the truth from Torvald. We're asked to root for her as she hopes for and fears the "wonderful thing" (2.320)... even though it's only kind-of-sort-of wonderful.

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 is 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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