In A Doll's House, what in Krogstad's first appearence on stage, and in Dr. Rank's remarks about him, indicate that the bank clerk is a menace?

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tamarakh's profile pic

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In the first scene of Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House, we are given a few clues that Krogstad’s character is a menace.  When Krogstad first comes on stage, we see that his appearance makes Nora very uncomfortable.  In a strained whisper she asks why he has come to see her husband.  When Krogstad answers that it is only about his position at the bank, we see that Nora seems relieved.  All of this indicates that Nora and Krogstad share some sort of secret together and that Krogstad holds some sort of influence over her.  Plus, when Dr. Rank first speaks of Krogstad, he calls him “morally diseased” [Act I], which also helps to indicate that Krogstad is somehow a menace

boatagainstcurrent's profile pic

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Krogstad's intitial appearance at the Helmer household unsettles the company there and marks him as a menace. When he first appears at the door and greets Nora, Mrs. Kristine Linde starts, shakes, and turns away (as indicated in stage directions). This reaction foreshadows a history between Krogstad and Kristine that is revealed later in the play. Nora, too, reacts abnormally to Krogstad, as the stage directions indicate that she speaks to him in a forced, quiet voice, so as not to risk inviting Kristine into her scheme with him.

After Krogstad leaves the women to seek Torvald in his study, Kristine and Nora discuss Krogstad, and Kristine adds:

They say he's mixed up in a lot of questionable business.

Dr. Rank then enters and characterizes Krogstad as "morally sick" and as a "completely worthless creature."

Krogstad's profound impact on these three characters during his brief initial appearance sets the tone for a truly menacing character who threatens the Helmer household and Nora's treasured secrets.

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