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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Back cover copy Ariel Dorfman’s explosively provocative, award-winning drama is set in a country that has only recently returned to democracy. Nevertheless, Dorfman plays with the audience until the end, leaving an mysterious and ambiguous closure to his play. So many societies that back then were being torn by the question of what you do with the trauma of the past, how to live side by side with your enemies, how to judge those who had abused power without destroying the fabric of a reconciliation necessary to move forward.

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

Nonetheless, at a deeper level it is not as far-fetched as it may seem. Death and the Maiden film. Royal Court Theatre London. 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.

Although his ideology fosters forgiveness and harmony, he is unable to put his words into practice, because he cannot connect with the victims. For other uses, see Death and the Maiden disambiguation.

Her form is no longer restricted, and, through her adept actions, she overpowers Doctor Miranda. Her subordination marks a sharp contrast with her actions in Scene 3. Susie Porter played Paulina with Eugene Gilfedder as the man whose voice might be his undoing. Death and the Maiden is a play by Chilean playwright Ariel Dorfman. As Paulina takes control of the situation, we may affirm that the practical view of justice overpowers the idealistic one.


With the same cast and director, it transferred to the Mainstage at The Royal Court on 4 November A stranger named Dr.

When Gerardo comes back from a visit to the president, he gets a flat tire. The Best Books of Views Read Edit View history.

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 to help heal a sick and wounded land. We’re featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days When will my order arrive?

This is exemplified in his relationship with his wife. The woman is full of fear, gripped by a secret terror that she only shares with the man she loves. An opera based on the play has been composed by Jonas Forssell with the libretto by Ariel Dorfman.

But one does not create such a transgressive play in a country still reeling from many years of pain without suffering the consequences oneself.

Looking for beautiful books? The dictator was no longer in power, but his influence, his disciples, his corrupting shadow invaded every aspect of political life. She does not undergo a clear rational process; instead she exerts her power, by using language and by wielding the gun to get her way. Dormfan is the world’s largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews.

A Case Study of Justice in “Death and the Maiden” | Adorans

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. A woman awaits the return of her husband as the sun goes down. We use cookies to give you the best anr experience. While Paulina was being tortured, he cheated on her with another woman, and his infidelity increases her anger at her sufferings rather than bringing the forgiveness and healing that she, as a victim, needs.


Paulina Salas is a former political prisoner in an unnamed Latin American country who had been raped by her captors, led by a sadistic doctor whose face she never saw.

Nonetheless, parallels to most Latin American post-dictatorial states of the twentieth century can be drawn. Indeed, such was the aim of the Chilean Truth and Reconciliation Commission, whose constitutive instrument enshrines the following guiding principles [1]:.

Mziden t happened yesterday but it could well be today. After hearing the full story of her captivity from Paulina, Gerardo formulates a confession with Roberto to appease Paulina’s madness and set her free from her past. Paulina records the entire confession and has Roberto write it out and sign it. My goals were far more modest.

Death and the Maiden

Her coerciveness has now allowed her to undertake the final decisions. Death and the Maiden plunged its finger into the wound of Chile by showing that the executioners were among us, smiling on the streets majden also interrogated the democratic elite, wondering what ideals they had forced themselves to sacrifice.

Throughout the play it is uncertain whether details are evidence of Roberto’s guilt or Paulina’s paranoia. This page was last edited on 16 October thw, at And now I have come back to London, and my characters have returned to the city that embraced them when they were as homeless as I was. Early in the play, Gerardo has an idealist view of justice: The rapist doctor played Schubert ‘s String Quartet No.