Torvald Helmer and Nils Krogstad

This is Allan Martin's interview regarding his roll as Torvald Helmer in Pepper's Ghost's rendition of 'A Dolls House', directed by Rosemary Hill

Tom Goodman-Hill as Torvald Helmer in A Doll's House.

Nora and Torvald Helmer, Dr. Rank, Helene and Kristine Linde

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If you have a soft spot for drama (theatrical, not high school), then you’re probably familiar with Henrik Ibsen’s play . Written in the 1800s, this masterpiece was praised by audiences and critics alike. After studying it for my drama class in the last week, I noticed some points about Torvald Helmer—one of the characters—that I never really thought about before.

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Nora, is the beloved, adored wife of Torvald Helmer. He is an admirable man, rigidly honest, of high moral ideals, and as it seems passionately devoted to his wife and children. Nora considers herself fortunate to be married to such a wonderful man. Indeed, she worships her husband, believes in him and is sure that if ever her safety should be compromised, Torvald, would perform the miracle of miracles. When a woman loves as Nora does, nothing else matters; least of all, social, legal or moral considerations. Therefore, when her husband's falls ill, there is no question in Nora's mind for her to go behind her his back and forge her father's name to a note to borrow money in order to take her sick husband to Italy.

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What Ibsen himself thought of the play may be irrelevant. He was a difficult person todeal with, a man who loved to shock, to confound, and to get his own way; he wascontroversial and contradictory; and he was as eager to dominate his family and friends asTorvald Helmer ever ruled Nora--only Ibsen could not always get away with it. In short, hewas as likely to give an interpretation that puzzled or shocked his listeners as he was totell the truth; and since he changed his ideas in the process of creation, what he saidlater may not reflect his original thoughts. Also, he was willing to compromise his themeby rewriting the ending (having Nora stay with her husband) in order to get the productionon the stage in Germany. An author is an artist, and it may be that the author is amongthe worst authorities to cite as to the significance of his work. In fact, Ibsen onceargued that the audience must be trusted more than the author to provide a plausibleexplanation of the significance of a work of art, saying that "the play does not endat the fall of the curtain in the fifth act. The true end lies beyond; the poet indicatesthe direction in which we may seek; it is now up to each one of us to find his or her ownway there."2 At the end of the play Nora is beginning to sense the first part of the lesson thatKristina has learned fully. Nora must go out into the world and educate herself, which, inthe context of the play, means to support herself. She has already discovered how much funit is to support herself. She has already discovered how much fun it is to earn money, andshe has been able to provide better clothes for her children and buy herself theoccasional sweet. She knows she can do it, and now she must now do "My duty tomyself." Later she will probably learn that she, too, has needs that can be met bestin a husband and family. Whether that husband is Torvald Helmer or not depends on him,whether a man can, in his own words, "redeem his character if he freely confesses hisguilt and takes his punishment," whether he can remove the mask that he wears"even with those nearest and dearest to him."

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Torvald Helmer (Character) - IMDb

Nora realizes how selfish Helmer is after he reads Krogstad's letter promising not toreveal the loan or the forgery. When he sensed that his past could be covered over again,Torvald exclaimed: "I'm saved." Not "You're saved," or even"We're saved," but only "I'm saved." Nora saw that she had been livingfor eight years with a stranger. She knew that Helmer did not love her, that he was nolonger willing enough to risk himself or his reputation for her. That freed her of allobligations to him. Nora not only had to leave to save herself as a person, but now shewas morally free to go into the world on her own; this also gave both her and Torvald theopportunity "to be so changed that. . . our life could be a realmarriage." Torvald Helmer was dumbfounded. He did not know what she was talkingabout.

Torvald Helmer Amar Selimović

Torvald Helmer Timeline and Summary

Torvald Helmer is Nora’s dominating husband. He constantly refers to Nora as a child and treats her as one. He does not think of Nora as an equal, which drives Nora to leaving him. He was recently named the new bank president.

When A Doll’s House was first released, it was a controversial play, said Steve Hill who plays Torvald Helmer.

Torvald Helmer (@SouthMeckTorval) | Twitter

Ibsen represents the traditional roles of husband and wife in A Doll’s House, a close view into Nora and Torvald Helmer’s married life and their essential differences when it comes to personal interests and money. Nora is repressed and must abide by her dominant husband as well by the social establishing of duties she must follow as a wife, mostly characterized by dependence and disadvantage.