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Discuss How Ibsen And Strindberg Present The Protagonists’ Relationship In ‘A Dolls House’ And ‘Miss Julie’. How Far Do You Agree That Nora Overcomes Yet Julie Succumbs To Male Dominance?

1595 words - 6 pages

Discuss how Ibsen and Strindberg present the protagonists' relationship in 'a dolls house' and 'Miss Julie'. How far do you agree that Nora overcomes yet Julie succumbs to male dominance?In both "A Doll's House" and "Miss Julie" the playwrights gradually reveal a clearer presentation of the dynamics between the couples. In the Victorian Era it was traditional for the male to take charge within the relationship. The women would usually have little choice over basic aspects of their life, things which in our generation seem like our given basic rights. As the plays continue the reader begins to notice the growing struggle the characters in both dramas face whilst trying to deal with dominance. Although both texts largely deal with authority, we notice how the characters approach this theme in sometimes contrasting ways, and lead extremely different paths.As soon "Miss Julie" opens, the reader observes Jean expressing his thought on Miss Julie, using complimentary adjectives such as "stately" and "superb", this denotes his affection for Julie. Similarly Julie also acts in a flirtatious manner with Jean by asking him to "dance the schottische" with her. However, it quickly becomes clear that their situation may be more complex when we see Julie demand Jean to kiss "Kiss my shoe". This demeaning gesture may suggest that their relationship is more dysfunctional then first interpreted, and could also be an indication of the struggle they face in regards to asserting dominance.Ibsen originally depicts a healthy relationship which was formed by love. This is shown by Nora questioning Mrs Linda "Is it true you did not love your husband, then why did you marry him?" this implies that her purpose to marry was exclusively based on her love for her husband. This may differentiate from a handful of other Victorian marriages, which could be formed on the basis to keep up with social expectations, or for financial support. Torvald also may appear to deny the Victorian male stereotype by stating "We will share as man and wife should, that is how it should be" which implies that the couple are equal and compromising. On the other hand you could say his use of imperatives conveys him as being forceful and commanding, which is paradoxical to his statement.It may not be instantaneously apparent, but as soon as 'A Doll's House begins, the author immediately hints towards aspects of deceit in their relationship. This is exemplified by Torvald asking if she'd taken a bite out of a "macaroon or two" to which she replies simply with the lie "no". She also knew to put the treat "in her bag" and "wipe her mouth" this displays her perceptiveness, showing she knows how to operate around her husband to get what she wants. Although this may be grasped as a harmless lie, the following events in the play could convey that this is actually a portrayal of deeper distrust in her relationship. Much later on Nora demonstrates this theory when Torvald questions her about the locked...

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