Explore the Ways Ibsen Presents Nora to Develop Throughout the Play. Compare the Ways Ibsen and Shaw Present Independence Using Their Characters Nora and Vivie.

Topics: Victorian era, Woman, Victorian architecture Pages: 3 (1174 words) Published: March 3, 2013
Nora, a complex character from Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, changes throughout the play as the audience watches her develop into a very different woman, untypical of the Victorian era. As a house wife, she is expected to obey and respect her husband, however she misbehaves during the first act, behaves desperately in the second, and abandons her husband for her own sake in the final act. At the beginning of the play, Nora seems completely at ease and demonstrates many childlike aspects. Her relationship with Torvaldis comparable with a father and daughter as Torvald addresses Nora with a range of childish nicknames, such as “skylark” and “featherhead”. However, we are given the impression that Nora does not seem to find this patronizing, as she responds affectionately to her husband’s teasing, for example, “Yes!” when Torvald calls “Is it my little squirrel bustling about?”. Ibsen’s use of stage directions also portray Nora’s obedience towards Torvald, as they present Nora as quiet and timid when in the presence of her husband, “playing with his coat buttons” and “without raising her eyes to his” as though she is a shy pet, waiting for orders. Due to Victorian standards of marriage, Nora is expected to serve her husband’s every need whilst keeping quiet about her own, much like a loyal pet.This means that sheneeds his permission for everythingas a woman in the Victorian era is not trusted to make decisions by herself as she is expected to make mistakes. Women were looked down upon and treated as accessories while men were treated like kings. In comparison to Ibsen’s character, Bernard Shaw’s character, Vivie, from his play Mrs. Warren’s Profession, is presented as a ‘new woman’ from the beginning of Act l. Whilst Nora is first presented to the audience as a timid, innocent woman, Vivie is unlike the typical Victorian woman as she is a “strong, confident” character, represented when she “proffers her hand” to the male character, Praed, with a “hearty grip”,...
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