Dramatic Irony In A Dolls Hous Essay

, Research Paper

Dramatic Irony in A Dolls House

Irony serves the purpose of accentuating a story, it also adds

to its creativity and originality. There are numerous types of

irony in the play A Doll’s House by Henrik Isben. Throughout

this work three types of irony are used, dramatic, situational,

and verbal. These three types of irony help bring out certain

conflicts within the play. These Conflicts, without irony,

wouldn t provide readers with such enjoyable or dazzling plays

to read.

Dramatic Irony, defined by Websters Dictionary, is the

incongruity between a situation developed in a drama and the

accompanying words or actions that is understood by the audience

but not by the characters in the play A Doll’s House contains

abundant examples of dramatic irony. In A Doll’s House the

reader is aware that Nora borrowed money from Krogstad without

her husband’s permission. Nora also forged her father’s name to

gain the money. She says, “You don’t know all. I forged a name.”

In the following conversation between Nora and Christine it is

clearly stated that Torvald does not know of Nora’s actions:

“Mrs. Linde: And since then have you never told your secret to

your husband? Nora: Good heavens, no!” Another example of

dramatic irony in A Doll’s House is when Nora wants to practice

a dance called the Tarantella. When Torvald goes to look in the

letterbox Nora says, “Torvald please don’t. There is nothing in

there.” The reader knows that Nora has not forgotten the dance.

Nora then says, “I can’t dance to-morrow if I don’t practice

with you.” All Nora is trying to do is keep Torvald from reading

the mail that contains a letter from Krogstad.

Situational Irony is a discrepancy and a formation of a

situation that one would logically anticipate or that would seem

appropriate and the situation that actually develops. An example

of situational irony within A Doll’s House is when Nora leaves

Torvald. There is no hint that Nora is going to leave Torvald

until the end of the book. During the beginning of the book Nora

acts as if she loves him. Only till Nora says, “Or if anything

else should happen to me-anything, for instance, that might

prevent me from being here-” the reader gets a feeling that Nora

might leave Torvald. At the end of the play she calls Torvald a

“stranger” and walks out. The reader does not expect Mrs. Linde

and Krogstad to have been married. The reader does not even know

that they are friends. When Christine, Mrs. Linde, says, “Nils,

how would it be if we two shipwrecked people could join forces?

The reader finds out that Christine and Krogstad compel each

other. No one expects Christine to want Krogstad because he has

been corrupt in the past. What us readers didn t know till later

was that Christine also knew and loved Krogstad in the past.

Verbal irony is the discrepancy between what someone says and

what he or she really means. In A Doll’s House when Helmer says,

“Is that my little skylark twittering out there?” Helmer is not

asking if Nora is a bird; nor that she is twittering like a

bird. Helmer is just asking if it is his wife, Nora, and if she

is saying something. When Torvald Helmer says, “Is it my little

squirrel bustling about?” He does not think that Nora is a

squirrel either. Nora has her share of verbal irony too. When

she is sitting down talking to Mrs. Linde she says, “There now,

it is burning up.” The place is not literally burning up. The

house is not on fire. Nora is just stating that the temperature

inside the house is hot. Nora then gets up and, “Shuts the door

of the stove and moves the rocking-chair aside.”

All three types of irony are used throughout A Doll s House to

create a further stirring play. Irony plays an important role in

any type of literature, and is used to help show the opposite of

what is actually said and/or done. Irony is the use of words to

express something other than, and especially the opposite, of

the literal meaning. Without irony, literature, especially plays

would be humdrum and minimal.