Laws and morality

Nora: The right to save her husband

The play A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen focuses on the theme of laws and morality through the introduction of the illegal loan and the forged signature. 

Nora and Torvald have different points of view regarding the question of guilt. When her husband falls seriously ill and the only cure is for them to travel south for some time, Nora feels obliged to save Torvald's life. 

Since Torvald firmly refuses to take out a loan, Nora has to take out one with a forged signature. She does this out of love and deliberately considers this step, even though she knows that "a wife cannot borrow without her husband’s consent." Act 1, 38%). She considers herself a clever woman "who has any head for business" (Act 1, 38%) and asks Christine the rhetorical question, "Is it imprudent to save your husband’s life?" (Act 1, 38%).

A fundamental aspect of any democratic society is that all people are equal before the law, but during that time in Norway, women and men did not have the same rights. For example, women did not have the right to vote and could not take out a loan without t...

The text shown above is just an extract. Only members can read the full content.

Get access to the full Study Guide.

As a member of, you get access to all of the content.

Sign up now

Already a member? Log in