Sir Francis Bacon once declared, “If money be not thy servant, it will be thy master. The covetous man cannot so properly be said to possess wealth, as that may be said to possess him.” Sir Francis Bacon’s comment regarding money proves true in all facets of society, whether it be the upper class, or the lower end of society, money is an object that motivates people of all levels to act in ways that may not always be typical. A lot of the time, the actions motivated by money result in detrimental outcomes, for the pursuer of money and every being in its path. In Sophocles’ Antigone, and Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, the protagonists have obsessions and fixations on money throughout the play. Money serves as a key literary element in the two plays alike. Both Sophocles and Ibsen employ money as a motif to elucidate the motivations for actions that have detrimental outcomes for the protagonists.
In the dramas of Antigone and A Doll’s House the motif of money is evident throughout the plot of each play. When Nora and Torvald Helmer discuss the issue of what Nora wants Torvald to get her for Christmas, Nora suggest
NORA: “You could give me money, Torvald. . . . Then I could hang the bills in pretty gilt paper on the Christmas tree. Wouldn’t that be fun?” (Ibsen, Act I)
At this point in the play, Nora’s reason for her obsession with money is unknown; therefore we cannot fully assume her motivations for acquiring money. However it is evident to the reader that Nora Helmer’s obsession with money will drive her in the attempt to gain financial progress in any means, including coaxing her husband, Torvald. Torvald, unaware of Nora’s motivation for the gaining the money, is fooled by his spouses manipulative ways and gives in, not knowing that her fixation on the money will soon lead to a breakdown in there marital establishment. As Nora discusses life with her dearest friend, Ms.Linde, she comments