Vivian Journal 9

I think that we can make a better argument for Nora than for Othello but I still see Oedipus as the shining example of tragic.

Nora was a noble person and she had noble pursuits. The audience and Nora experience a catharsis of types when she comes to her realization and walks out. The story is serious and realistic. The only problem I have with labeling A Doll’s House as a tragedy is that I do not see a reversal of fortune for Nora. I cannot see her leaving and becoming an individual as a person as a bad thing. I don’t think it makes her a bed person and I don’t think it removes her nobility.

Othello starts as a warrior who is supposed to protect people and that role is completely reversed when he kills Desdemona. His nobility is lost after this and he dies in the end as a last resort. He is noble in position and has the tragic flaw of jealousy. The story is serious and the audience is somewhat emotionally cleansed as are most of the characters.

Oedipus obviously falls from nobility and goes from good to bad. He begins as noble by position and has a noble pursuit to save his kingdom. He then fulfills his fate by killing his father and sleeping with his mom which brings him down. He also is rude to those who try to help him like the oracle and the shepherd which shows that he is changing. The story is serious and ends with a catharsis for the characters. He is pitiful and has a tragic flaw which is arguably his ignorance or his stubbornness.

From this information it’s obvious that Oedipus is the only character that follows every aspect of tragedy. The others share some aspects of tragedy but they are never complete. I do, however, think that every play could fit under the modern definition of tragedy.

Skylar's Response

Hey Vivian,
I agree with you on how Nora has noble traits. And being controlled as a "Doll" isn't something she could exactly change at the time. So you can't punish her for that living that lifestyle. She was still a child in a way. I agree with how her nobility isn't lost. And I like your example of how Othello's is. The role is "reversed" and dies in the end. Much tragic ending than A Doll House. I also like how you stated Oedipus is still the most tragic of all because I agree. Overall it is a tragic story and he is the definition of a tragic hero. Thanks for sharing!
- Skylar

Response

I agree that Oedipus is the best example out of the three plays for being a tragedy.The fact that he was born into his fate and had no say in how his life was going to go is pretty tragic. I think he was the most noble as well. He was willing to die for his people and tried hard to get rid of the plague. I also agreed that Nora didn't have a reversal of fortune. She tried to help her husband and then finds out he is an awful person and she then leaves. Like you said Nora leaving doesn't take away her nobility. Nice Job!

Reply

Reading your reply was eye opening! Perhaps Nora's reversal of fortune was going from blissfully ignorant to totally aware. I would not find this a bad thing but it did cause her to "fall" out of her marriage and lose her standing as a rich mans wife. Let me know what you think of this!
-Vivian

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