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Irony in A Doll's House

Irony Examples in A Doll's House:

Act II

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"HELMER: My dear darling Nora, you are dancing as if your life depended on it. NORA: So it does...."   (Act II)

To Doctor Rank and Torvald, this line reads as hyperbole. However, for Nora and readers, it takes on a more literal meaning. Nora is dancing in order to prevent Krogstad’s letter from disrupting her idealized life. This line takes on a literal meaning when read in the context of Nora’s earlier conversation with Krogstad, wherein she threatened suicide. The gulf between the perceptions of Doctor Rank and Torvald and the hidden truth of Nora’s words produces dramatic irony; readers know that Nora plans to commit suicide rather than let Torvald take the fall, but Doctor Rank and Torvald remain ignorant.

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