Blindness In The Merchant's Tale

862 Words4 Pages
`There are none so blind as will not see. ´ Discuss with reference to `A Doll´s House´ and `The Merchant´s Tale´. Ibsen and chaucer exlore the metaphorical and physical blindness of thier charcaters. Physical blindness is exhibited in "the Merchant's Tale", January is made physically blind we can we see this from "biraft hym bothe his yen", which means he deprieved from both his eyes. This is signifcant becuase not inly is January physically blind he is also metaphorically visually impaired. Blind to his wife's promiscuity with his January's servant- Damyan. Even when January regains physical sight, which is given to him from Pluto "To January he gaf agayn his sighte" he is still blind because he does not see May is in love with Damyan. Despite…show more content…
His wife Nora helps him realise when she declare she is "leaving now" her decison to leave was sparked by neglect she expreiened from Helmer. Disregarding any indapendance and respect for her, depriving her basic human treatent. This is approved when Helmer says: `First and foremost you are a wife and mother.´ Nora resonds with the obvious "First and foremost I´m a human being" but the fact she needed to state it empathises Helmer does not recognize her demands for equality and respect. Helmer initally believes Nora has no other purose other thana service to him and his chilren. Nora finally seeks indaendance from Helmer "you're not the man to help me with that, I ust do that alone". Nora experiences somewhat of an enlightenment reflecting on how she has been treated in life: "he called me his doll-child... I went rom Daddy's hands to yours". Helmer is blind to how his controlling behaviour has had the oppiste effect and has forced Nora from him. However it is important to condier the context of the 19th centuary society and its social norms. Men were expected to be the breadwinners of the family, but women had role to maintain the household and to raise the children so not responsiblity was restricted. However as highlighted in Ibsen's "A Doll's House" even the law prohibited women's freedom finicialy. Social standards also demnad Helmer to dominant both in work and within marriage, so it is not unusual for him to assume dominace and power, so the audience might be pitty his pressured position to conform and judge him less on how he treats
Open Document