A Doll's House

by Henrik Ibsen (1879)

Act 3

Nora - Female, 35 to 50 yrs

Scene partner - Helmer

Monologue - Dramatic, 1:00 to 2:00 min


It is perfectly true, Torvald. When I was at home with papa, he told me his opinion about everything, and so I had the same opinions; and if I differed from him I concealed the fact, because he would not have liked it. He called me his doll-child, and he played with me just as I used to play with my dolls. And when I came to live with you –

[Helmer: What sort of an expression is that to use about our marriage?]

[I mean that] I was simply transferred from papa's hands into yours. You arranged everything according to your own taste, and so I got the same tastes as your else I pretended to, I am really not quite sure which – I think sometimes the one and sometimes the other. When I look back on it, it seems to me as if I had been living here like a poor woman – just from hand to mouth. I have existed merely to perform tricks for you, Torvald. But you would have it so. You and papa have committed a great sin against me. It is your fault that I have made nothing of my life.

[Helmer: How unreasonable and how ungrateful you are, Nora! Have you not been happy here?]

I have never been happy. I thought I was, but it has never really been so.

[Helmer. Not – not happy!]

[No, only merry.] And you have always been so kind to me. But our home has been nothing but a playroom. I have been your doll-wife, just as at home I was papa's doll-child; and here the children have been my dolls. I thought it great fun when you played with me, just as they thought it great fun when I played with them. That is what our marriage has been, Torvald.

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