H. Ibsen's A Doll's House Essay

1549 words - 7 pages

Gender is defined as sexual identity, especially in relation to society or culture; the condition of being female or male; sex; females or males considered as a group: expressions used by one gender. Performance is defined as the act of performing a ceremony, play, piece of music, etc.; the execution or accomplishment of work, acts, feats, etc.; a particular action, deed, or proceeding; the act of performing; or the manner in which or the efficiency with which something reacts or fulfils its intended purpose. (Butler, 1997). The theme of gender is a theme that can be seen in any form of performance, be it theatre, music, dance, television, film, etc. The differences of gender can be highlighted by actors and directors in a multitude of manners, some of which we will look at now.
In this scene in particular we see a conflict of genders between the characters of Nora and Krogstad. We see Nora assuring Krogstad that she will repay all her loans by the New Year and asks him to leave her alone. Krogstad implies that he isn’t concerned only about the money; his position at the bank is very important to him. He speaks of a “bad mistake” he committed, which ruined his reputation and made it very difficult for his career to advance. Nora replies that though it would be unpleasant for her husband to find out that she had borrowed from Krogstad, Torvald would pay off the loan, and dealings with Krogstad would be terminated. In addition, Krogstad would lose his job. Krogstad says that Nora has other things to worry about: he has figured out that Nora forged her father’s signature on the promissory note. Krogstad informs Nora that her forgery is a serious offense, similar to the one that sullied his reputation in the first place. Nora dismisses Krogstad’s suggestion, saying that she should not be faulted because her motives were honourable and pure, but Krogstad reminds her of the law. He threatens her once more and then leaves. The children return, but Nora sends them away. Though she is clearly disturbed by what has just happened, she makes an attempt to decorate the tree. Nora is in a sense objectifying against her stereotypical gender role. Women at the time of the plays publication were expected to be placid and to conform to the wishes and demands of the dominant male of the household. They generally did not voice their opinions and did certainly not defy the dominant male’s orders. However in this scene we see Nora standing her ground and justifying her actions against a formidable and intimidating male. Several choices may be made by the director of the play and by the actors themselves to highlight the difference of gender here.
The director may consider how the actors are arranged on the stage. While the dialogue of a stage play helps showcase the relationship status between actors, the actual blocking helps to do the same. The physical interaction and placement on the stage speaks volumes about the actual relationship status between one or more...

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