Death and the Maiden. By Ariel Dorfman .. GERARDO: I hate to disagree, Roberto, but in my opinion, the death penalty has never solved any of the—. Death and the Maiden study guide contains a biography of Ariel Dorfman, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full. The play “Death and the Maiden” by the Chilean playwright Ariel Dorfman centres upon a political and judicial struggle between three characters: Paulina Salas.

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The dictatorship that plagued her land has just fallen, and everything is uncertain. As Paulina takes control of the situation, we may affirm that the practical view of justice overpowers the idealistic one. Her coerciveness has now allowed her to undertake the final decisions.

Her form areil no longer restricted, and, through her adept actions, she overpowers Doctor Amiden. The situation arises when Gerardo, one of the three characters, is appointed to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, thus establishing justice as a major theme within the play. It was not something I had anticipated, this planetary weight and import, when I wrote the play in Santiago.

Death and the Maiden film. Her husband, a lawyer in charge of a commission investigating the deaths of thousands of dissidents under the previous regime, must defend the accused man because without the rule of law the transition to democracy will be compromised; if his wife kills that doctor, the husband will not be able agiel help heal a sick and wounded land. Views Read Edit View history. Throughout the play it is uncertain whether details are evidence of Roberto’s guilt or Paulina’s paranoia.


Her body language, according to stage directions, is submissive and reveals that her primary goal is survival.

But one does not create such a transgressive play in a country still reeling from many years of pain without suffering the consequences oneself. During the night and the day that follows she will have to confront that fear, she will bring to justice in her living room the doctor she believes is responsible for having tortured and raped her years ago. The Best Books of Check out the top books of the year on our page Best Books of The rapist doctor played Schubert ‘s String Quartet No.

I t happened yesterday but it could well be today. Because he frequently alludes to time, Gerardo comes across as a desperate and ineffective peace-keeper.

Death and the Maiden’s haunting relevance | Ariel Dorfman | Opinion | The Guardian

This is exemplified in his relationship with his wife. Twenty years ago, when Death and the Maidenthe play that tells this story, opened in London at the Royal Court Upstairsthe country where that woman, Paulina, awaited a constantly delayed justice, was my own Chile or the Argentina where I was born.

Paulina, the woman who had been raped and tortured and betrayed, was the most violent person on that stage, so the question for her was not any easier: Her subordination marks a sharp contrast with her actions in Scene 3.


Miranda stops to assist him. Miranda drives Gerardo home and later in the night he returns.

Death and the Maiden

A woman awaits the return of her husband as the sun goes down. We use cookies to give you the best possible experience. The stage directions show a turning point in her behaviour.

The Australian premiere production of Death and the Maiden took place on 16 December A stranger named Dr. I can’t help but ask if 20 years from now I will ahd writing this phrase all over again: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Loading comments… Trouble loading? An opera based on the play has been composed by Jonas Forssell with the libretto by Ariel Dorfman. Although his ideology fosters forgiveness and harmony, he is unable to put his words into practice, because he cannot connect with the victims. The Ride Down Mt. And now I maden come back to London, and my characters have returned to the city that embraced them when they were as homeless as I was.