Torvald and Oedipus Comparison

Topics: Oedipus, Oedipus the King, Man Pages: 3 (1149 words) Published: October 27, 2011
Men are often believed to be the wisest, strongest, and more intelligent of the two genders. In narratives they are often shown to be compelling and brilliant. However frequently coupled with man’s brilliance is a trait of ignorance. That is just the case in the play, “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen; and in the tragedy, “Oedipus the King”. In “A Doll’s House”, the main male character is man by the name of Torvald Helmer. Torvald’s dominance over his wife, Nora, is repeatedly shown throughout the play. Torvald adopts the belief that a man’s role in marriage is to protect and steer his wife. He clearly enjoys the idea that Nora needs his guidance, and he interacts with her as a father would. Ironically, Torvald seizes all the power in the marriage yet, he seems to be the weaker and more childlike character. In the opening of “Oedipus the King”, Oedipus appears to be a man of swift action, great insight and general concern for his subjects. Oedipus also seems to be overly confident, but with good reason. He has saved Thebes from the curse of the Sphinx, and becomes king virtually overnight. But as the story progresses, we see that Oedipus’s swift action has a more dangerous side. To compare a king, to a common man seems to be dubious, but these two men have analogous personalities. But as suspected there are also dissimilarities in their personality as well.

Perception can be explained to be the apprehension by the means of senses. How people perceive you can often influence your words and actions. In both “A Doll’s House” and in “Oedipus the King” perception is a driving force behind the characters actions. Torvald and Oedipus are both very conscious of how they are perceived amongst their peers, or subjects. In “A Doll’s House”, after Nora pleads with Torvald to allow Krogstad’s position at the bank to be reinstated Torvald’s response is Krogstad would, “make him a laughing stock of him before the entire staff”. This illustrates how Torvald prioritizes his...
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