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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Death and the Maiden

It is possible that Dorfman refuses to end the play in an unambiguous way because providing a closed ending would imply an active adherence to one of the two ideas of justice: Broken Glass Arthur Miller. The Best Books of By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

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.

Indeed, such was the aim of the Chilean Truth and Reconciliation Commission, whose constitutive instrument enshrines the following guiding principles [1]: She is now oppressing Miranda and she has drained the manliness in him, effectively becoming a manly figure herself and emasculating Miranda.

Death and the Maiden (play) – Wikipedia

The conflict of the play takes place in a country that has suffered a long-drawn dictatorship and has recently become democratic. Nonetheless, at a deeper level it is not as far-fetched as it may seem.

A stranger named Dr. By using our website you agree to our use of deathh. The elite of Chile hated what I had done, reviled it. Her subordination marks a sharp contrast with her actions in Scene 3.

Paulina records the entire confession and has Roberto write it out and sign it. Death and the Maiden Ariel Dorfman. Death and the Maiden plunged its finger into the wound of Chile by showing that the executioners were among us, smiling on the streets but also interrogated the democratic elite, wondering what ideals they had forced themselves to sacrifice.


It had one reading and one workshop production prior to its world premiere. This single, monosyllabic word evokes all his repressed anguish and thus exposes his major weakness as a mediator: Press enter to see results or esc to cancel. The stage directions show a turning point in her behaviour.

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. I’m thrilled that the relations between men and women that I explored, the intricacies of memory and madness, the aftermath of violence, the uncertainty of truth and narrative, continue to capture the imagination of so many.

Returning to my country after 17 years in exile, I saw this work as my gift to its turbulent transition. The dictatorship that plagued her land has just fallen, and everything is uncertain.

Death and the Maiden. An opera based on the play has been composed by Jonas Forssell with the libretto by Ariel Dorfman. Early in the play, Gerardo has an idealist view of justice: Evidently, this is one of the scars left by the dictatorship. I’m thrilled that Death and the Maiden has not aged over these 20 years, that it still moves people to tears, confronts them with a tragedy that has no clear solution, that it speaks to our world today with the same passion it embodied yesterday.

Neither did I let the victims off the hook. We’re featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. 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.

But what my compatriots did not want for themselves was celebrated by the world. Instead, the play encourages the audience to reflect about the possibility of true justice and reconciliation in a nation recovering from a dictatorship.

Because he frequently alludes to time, Gerardo comes across as a desperate and ineffective peace-keeper. Progressively, Paulina begins to take the centre of the stage, thus allowing edath interplay between the conflicting views of justice and reconciliation.


Back cover copy Ariel Dorfman’s explosively provocative, award-winning drama is set in a country that has only recently returned to democracy. It seemed to me the obligation of a writer was to force the country to look at itself, at what all those years of mendacity and dread had wrought.

Years later, after the also unnamed repressive regime has fallen, Paulina lives in an isolated country house with dirfman husband, Gerardo Escobar. Gerardo Escobar has just been chosen to head the commission that will investigate the crimes of majden old regime when his car breaks down and he is picked up by the humane doctor Roberto Miranda.

Views Read Edit View history. 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. 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. Death and the Maiden is a play by Chilean playwright Ariel Dorfman.

For other uses, see Death and the Maiden disambiguation. With the same cast and director, it transferred to the Mainstage at The Royal Court on 4 November Indeed, such was the aim of the Chilean Truth and Reconciliation Commission, whose constitutive instrument enshrines the following guiding maisen [1]:.

Home Contact Us Help Free delivery worldwide. A woman awaits the return of her husband as the sun goes down. Unconvinced of his guilt, Gerardo acts as Roberto Miranda’s lawyer and attempts to save his life. The time is the present and the place, a country that is probably Chile but could be any country that has given itself a democratic government just after a long period of dictatorship.

Book ratings by Goodreads. Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. It was not something I had anticipated, this planetary weight and import, when I wrote the play in Santiago.

Throughout the play it is uncertain whether details are evidence of Roberto’s guilt or Paulina’s paranoia.