Other characters

Dr. Rank

The ill friend

Dr. Rank appears briefly in Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House. His father kept mistresses and "youthful amusements" (Act 2, 11%) and led a dissolute life and had a preference for good food. In the process, he contracted syphilis and also transmitted the disease to his son. 

The doctor has therefore always suffered from spinal dysphonia, an incurrable disease resulting from syphilis. The disease is already very advanced at the time of the plot and Dr. Rank is obviously depressed on Christmas Eve.

Dr. Rank is a close friend of the Helmer family, and visits them every day. He also always stays for dinner .He is Torvald's childhood best friend and also a very close friend of Nora’s.He celebrates Christmas Eve together with the Helmer family. Even in the moments when Torvald does not want to receive a visitor, Dr. Rank is brought to his study without question. He is a shareholder in the joint-stock bank that Helmer will head as a manager in the new year.

Christine suspects him of being Nora's lover and the one who lent her the money for the trip to Italy. She urges Nora to put an end to the relationship with Dr. Rank. Nora has actually already thought about asking Dr. Rank to pay off the promissory note without her husband's knowledge. 

Nora's confidant

Dr. Rank is an important confidant for Nora, to whom she reveals many secrets. When he visits the family again on Christmas Day, Nora tells him that Torvald has a lot of work and therefore cannot receive him even though Torvald had actually instructed Nora to send Dr. Rank to him as soon as he arrived. Instead, Nora wants to talk to him, because she "always has time" for him (Act 2, 36%).

During this visit, Dr. Rank tells her that his health is very bad. He has one more examination to go before he finds out "when it will be that the horrors of dissolution will begin." (Act 2, 53%). He asks her not to let Torvald visit him in the hospital, and announces that he will drop his b...

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