Comparing Nora From A Doll 's House And Ophelia From The Tragedy Of Hamlet

2915 Words Dec 1st, 2014 12 Pages
A Woman’s Life is Tragic: Comparing Nora from A Doll’s House and Ophelia from The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
William Shakespeare’s play The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark and Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House are both deemed tragedies, and thus in nature share many similarities. While common knowledge of what characteristics distinguish tragedy from other genres can lead readers and audiences alike to determine that Shakespeare’s Ophelia is a tragic character, it is much more difficult to determine whether or not Ibsen’s female lead character, Nora, is a tragic figure. In order to determine Nora’s status as a tragic figure, she will be compared to Ophelia, and there will be a thorough examination of her Greek tragedy traits. When examining the treatment of these two women, it is easy to recognize resemblances between them, but there are also strong contrasts. While these women face similar situations, their reactions set them apart and differentiate them from one another. Nora resembles Ophelia because she is unable to find a place in society where she can be respected and treated as an equal to a man, instead of being treated like property that is traded and owned. Partially due to the fact that she does not understand how society works, Nora has a weak sense of self. Above all, Nora is a tragic figure because she has a fatal flaw, or hamartia, which is her tendency to be manipulative and secretive. When Nora is compared with Ophelia she is most certainly…
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