What are some instances of irony in Henrik Ibsen's play, A Dolls House?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are quite a lot of instances of irony in Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House.  One instance is that Nora’s husband treats her like a child, even forbidding her to eat macaroons because they’ll spoil her teeth.  Another instance of irony is that instead of living a life of leisure, as everyone believes she is doing, Nora actually worked for three weeks last year before Christmas to earn money to pay back her dept.  A third instance of irony is that Nora, the heroin, forged her father’s signature to save her husband’s life, Krogstad, seen as menace and morally questionable character, was also accused of fraud for similar reasons.  Furthermore, Krogstad points out the irony that the law does not take into account a person’s motives for breaking the law.

 

A fourth instance of irony is that when Nora learns that Torvald’s new position at the bank will make him boss over many people, including Krogstad, she is quite joyous, thinking that her worries about the influence Krogstad holds over her are over.  Ironically, it is when Torvald fires Krogstad that Krogstad reveals to Torvald that Nora forged a loan.

 

The final one I’ll mention is that Torvald calls Krogstad a hypocrite and a liar, accusing him of deceiving everyone he knows, later, he also calls the wife he supposedly loves the same things, associating Nora with Krogstad.

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A Doll's House

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