A Comparison of Irony in Crime and Punishment and A Doll's House

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Use of Irony in Crime and Punishment and A Doll's House

There are many links between Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and A Doll's House, by Henrik Isben. Each character goes through many ironic situations. Throughout both of the works dramatic, situational, and verbal irony are used.

Dramatic irony is used throughout Crime and Punishment. The reader knows that Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov killed the pawnbroker, Alyona Ivanovna, and her sister, Lizaveta Ivanovna. A quote to support this is,

"He took the axe right out, swung it up in both hands, barely conscious of what he was doing, and almost without effort, almost effort, almost mechanically, brought the butt of it down on the old woman's head." (Dostoyevsky
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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." (Isben 44) 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!" (Isben 13)

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 letter box Nora says, "Torvald please don't. There is nothing in there." (Isben 46) The reader knows that Nora has not forgotten the dance. The reader knows this when Torvald goes to check the mail and Nora begins to play the Tarantella. Nora then says, "I can't dance to-morrow if I don't practise with you." (Isben 46) The reader knows that all Nora is trying to do is keep Torvald from reading the mail which contains a letter from Krogstad.

Situational irony is also used throughout the two works. In Crime and Punishment Raskolnikov is the one who murdered the two sisters. It was totally unexpected when Nikolai came to
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