The claim, of “comedy portraying weakness and tragedy shows strength”, applies to some extent in the plays “A Doll’s House” and ” The Seagull”. The protagonists of both, the tragic and the comic play, displays strength and weakness equally in a given situation. However, it depends on how the readers want to see it, to one reader the decision made by a character may portray strength to another it might portray signs of weakness. In the beginning of the play ” A Doll’s House” , the protagonist, Nora, is displayed as her husband’s “little squirrel” and a child-like character who behaves playfully and obediently “twittering” around her husband.
As we further read on, we learn Nora has been keeping a secret. She loaned money forging her father signature in order to save her dying husband. This in its self shows a completely different character from what is displayed at the beginning of the play. In the last act, Nora’s husband, Torvald, finds out about her forgery and treats Nora in a very ill-mannered way by calling her an “immortal” and a “filthy woman”. Due to which Nora decides to leave the house, leaving all her responsibilities and her children.
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The decision taken by Nora to leave signifies self discovery , independence and a lot of courage to part from her children, this clearly portrays strength during a tragic situation with her husband. However, this act could also display weakness ??? Nora decides to run away from her responsibilities rather than trying to clear her act and face the consequences. She also mentions of “not having what it takes” to be a good mother ??? which shows less confidence within herself.
Similarly, in the comic drama, “The Seagull”, Character Masha portrays both strength and weakness throughout the play. Masha is “miserable”, since nothing in her life goes her way. She’s a victim of unrequited love, snuff and heavy drinking. Masha always wears black emphasizing she is “mourning for her life” and is “unhappy”. The fact that Masha never tries to solve her problem, however, manages to mourn about it, portrays weakness ??? as she lacks will power and confidence in herself to improve her situation. Although this exhibits Masha’s weakness, it also shows her strength.
Masha is bold enough to be open about her situation instead of pretending they are happy, like many of the other characters do. She voices her opinion about her life and is not afraid of what the people around her might think. Looking at both characters above, in both a comic and a tragic situation, we can see the characters display strength and weakness in a given situation. It only depends on the readers point of view while interpreting characters actions and reaction to a situation. Asma Alamgir Have a great day!