The hero always has the same characteristics. He is good but not so clever as to avoid being tricked by the villain. Ibsen breaks from melodrama by having his characters interact in a manner driven by an understanding of human behavior and psychology. Instead of filling simple prescribed roles, Ibsen’s characters have complex, layered personalities. The villain, Krogstad, is not a villain in the end of the play. Though he attempts to blackmail Nora early in the play, his actions are a result of his mistreatment at the hands of Torvald, and he abandons his plans of blackmailing and returns the incriminating documents. Torvald, who is to play the role of hero, begins the play as a strong man who shields his wife. By the end, however, his actions reveal that he is a selfish man who does not love his wife but only himself. Lastly, Nora, the heroine, abandons her family because she has never had the opportunity to experience freedom of choice. Men have always told her what to do. A traditional heroine would love her husband no matter the circumstances and would never abandon her children.
2. A Doll’s House is not a tragedy, which, by default, indicates that it would be a comedy. In the traditional sense, a comedy is a play that ends happily, no matter the action that occurs during the course of the story. A Doll’s House does end happily. Nora abandons her husband and children, which seems a horrible act, but in so doing, she makes the choice to become a real person. She decides to give herself the freedom to choose what happens in her life by leaving the protection, and oppression, of men. The theme of freedom and of finding oneself is uplifting and in no way tragic.
A traditional tragic form, such as the model outlined by Aristotle, cannot exist in a realistic style. In order for a tragedy to be traditional, the protagonist must be a man of noble birth with great power. He must be unassailable except for one minor flaw, so