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Krogstad, a lower-level employee at Torvald's bank, arrives and goes into the study. In contrast to his physical illness, he says that the man in the study, Krogstad, is "morally diseased." After the meeting with Krogstad, Torvald comes out of the study. The nanny returns with the children and Nora plays with them for a while until Krogstad creeps through the ajar door, into the living room, and surprises her.Nora asks him if he can give Kristine a position at the bank and Torvald is very positive, saying that this is a fortunate moment, as a position has just become available. Krogstad tells Nora that Torvald intends to fire him at the bank and asks her to intercede with Torvald to allow him to keep his job.Torvald refuses to hear her pleas, explaining that Krogstad is a liar and a hypocrite and that he committed a terrible crime: he forged someone's name.
Kristine tells Krogstad that she only married her husband because she had no other means to support her sick mother and young siblings and that she has returned to offer him her love again.Nora realizes that her husband is not the strong and gallant man she thought he was, and that he truly loves himself more than he does Nora.Torvald explains that when a man has forgiven his wife, it makes him love her all the more since it reminds him that she is totally dependent on him, like a child.Kristine gently tells Nora that she is like a child.Nora is offended, so she teases the idea that she got money from "some admirer," so they could travel to Italy to improve Torvald's health.She believes that he would not have stooped to unethical behavior if he had not been devastated by her abandonment and been in dire financial straits.Krogstad changes his mind and offers to take back his letter from Torvald. As he reads them, Nora steels herself to take her life. Enraged, he declares that he is now completely in Krogstad's power; he must yield to Krogstad's demands and keep quiet about the whole affair.She refuses, and Krogstad threatens to blackmail her about the loan she took out for the trip to Italy; he knows that she obtained this loan by forging her father's signature after his death.Krogstad leaves and when Torvald returns, Nora tries to convince him not to fire Krogstad.Torvald enters and tries to retrieve his mail, but Nora distracts him by begging him to help her with the dance she has been rehearsing for the costume party, feigning anxiety about performing.She dances so badly and acts so childishly that Torvald agrees to spend the whole evening coaching her.