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Krogstad: From Villain to Hero.

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Sarah Little Prof. MacCoubrey ENGL 1705 EL06 November 17, 2003 Krogstad: From Villain to Hero In the course of Henrik Isben's play A Doll's House, several characters undergo extreme transformations. These characters change and develop as the plot progresses and eventually show their true nature at the end of the play. The most evident and profound character development, is that of Torvald Helmer and his antithesis Nils Krogstad. As they are simultaneously developed, it becomes apparent that it is not the actual personality of Helmer and Krogstad that is changing, but merely the way they are portrayed and the circumstances (and their awareness of these circumstances) in which they are living. The character of Nils Krogstad was consistently developed throughout A Doll's House by both the dialect of other characters and his own actions and speech, as his character underwent the transition from a morally corrupt villain to a decent and even well liked man. Nils Krogstad first appears in Act 1 as a seemingly unimportant visitor wanting to discuss business matters with Torvald. His actions are nothing out of the ordinary and give the impression that he is a very polite individual. ...read more.


Torvald does not sugarcoat his dislike of Krogstad; instead he is quick to disclose Krogstad's crime of forgery. He continues by unveiling the fact that rather than admitting his guilt and taking the punishment, Krogstad "dodged what was coming to him by a cunning trick" (793). Torvald insists that a man with a crime like that on his conscience "will always be having to lie and cheat and dissemble" (793) even around his own family. In Torvald's mind, this makes his former schoolmate morally depraved because he has "been poisoning his own children for years with lies and deceit" (793). Due to all of his above-mentioned opinions, Torvald expresses his annoyance at the fact that Krogstad "thinks he has every right to treat me as an equal" (798). As the second Act nears its end and the third Act brings the play to a close, Krogstad undergoes his final stages of development. In conversation with Nora he begins to open up and tells her, "even somebody like me has a bit of what you might call feeling" (803). It is also here that one can begin to understand Krogstad's motives and sympathize with him. ...read more.


Although Kristine does not allow Krogstad to demand for his letter back, he does take measures to mend the situation in which he has put Nora. He writes a second letter and leaves it in the mailbox along with the IOU. In the letter he "sends his regrets and apologies for what he has done" (817). By sending back the IOU he gives up any power that he held over Nora and is unable, and obviously unwilling, to cause any harm to the Helmer family. A Doll's House concludes with no further mention of Krogstad. It can be assumed that he can now become the ideal family man and strive to gain back the respect that he deserves. That is a far cry from his initial introduction as an illicit and immoral villain, but is a transformation that can be easily tracked throughout the play. Although Torvald continued to look down on Krogstad, but Kristine's high regards of Krogstad and the actions of Krogstad himself, far outweigh Torvald's argument that Krogstad is a "morally depraved" criminal. Although Krogstad remained the same individual throughout the play, it took a change of luck for his true colours to be seen. ...read more.

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