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 (): Ariel Dorfman: Books. Super interesting play about power dynamics, torture, revenge, and truth. The rise and fall of Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden is a subject worthy of close reading a Dorfman poem and ended with the author discussing his play.

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When she gets to the point in her story of first meeting the doctor and hearing Schubert in the darkness, the lights fade and her voice overlaps with that of Miranda. Apart from reviews of the premiere productions and interviews with Dorfman, there exists yet little criticism of Death and the Maiden. He sees Paulina as emotionally trapped by memories that she must somehow put behind her.

Paulina recognizes or thinks she does Miranda as the Schubert-loving doctor who led her torturers; she ties him up, demands a mock trial, threatens to be tbe and executioner. After another threatening appearance by Paulina, Miranda accuses Gerardo of not being as impartial as he has claimed to be: One of the related themes of Death and the Maidenhowever, is the lingering ambiguity which troubles a society attempting to rectify wrongs from a turbulent era in its past.

“Dorfman, Schubert, and Death and the Maiden” by David Schroeder

Miranda explains that he heard a odrfman story about the commission on the radio, only then realizing who Gerardo was, and felt he had to return to congratulate him on the appointment. Her subordination marks a sharp contrast with her actions in Scene 3.

As for Glenn Close, she is not exactly dewth but seems, as usual, miscast. At the same time, it makes the complex point that in this fragile period of political transition, the legacy of the past still haunts people, preventing them from being truly free.

In the end, however, she stops short of administering the ultimate punishment of death. Quite thought provoking to say the least. Imagine what deatn happen if everyone acted like you did. Curiously, Tony Walton, perhaps having shot his wad on Baboonshas under—or misdesigned—the scenery, which is sparse and a bit bewildering. I deal often with people who are fighting against those who would obliterate others, who would forget them, ignore them, neglect them, erase them from the earth. Retrieved from ” https: The play suggests that makden the lingering pain of political oppression, there is no concrete act that can atone for past wrongs.


Paulina has suppressed the worst details of her incarceration.

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

The play opened at the small theatre upstairs at London’s Royal Court inand won the Olivier award for best play, along with a best actress award deth Juliet Stevenson. In this unfavorable review, Simon feels that Dorfman fumbles an opportunity to expound upon the subjects of dictatorships and human rights violations. The play contrasts the present era to the repressive military regime which has recently ended.

Recommended Citation Schroeder, David. Didn’t really understand it very well at first, but as a few different assignments where devoted to it, I grasped it bit by bit. His collections of short stories include The Medicine Goes Down and My House Is on Fire which examines how people retain a sense of hope living under an oppressive military regime. This resource compiles selections of criticism; it is an excellent starting point for a research paper on Dorfman.

Miranda does not genuinely appear to ask for forgiveness; he does so only in the context of a confession which may be falsified. A fully realistic play would present some kind of resolution to the dramatic conflict but this is hardly possible in Death and the Maiden.

Her body language, according to stage directions, is submissive and reveals that her primary goal is survival. When I went home to Chile inafter an exile of many deaath, I found a land morally devastated by the dictatorship of General Pinochet, who had ousted the elected government in Authors David SchroederDalhousie University.

When the military threw Peron over inmany of the social changes he and Evita had initiated remained in place. There, the ane principals, formally dressed, arrive at a concert to hear a little Schubert.

The question of whether Miranda is the doctor who tortured and raped Paulina is the sorfman dramatic conflict in Death and the Maidenbut the play contains the larger thematic issue of how a society should confront a violent and repressive past, specifically reconciling conflicting memories of what occurred in this era. Working for the next several years as a journalist and activist, he published tge works, including a study of the plays of Harold Pinter The Homecoming.


He is the author of important essays and works of cultural criticism— How to Read Donald Duck: I t happened yesterday but it could well be today. 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. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Miranda, when he maieen get a chance to speak, flatly denies adn that doctor.

It aims to help purge ourselves of pity and terror. I wanted to look at the question of how we coexist in the same country, even in the same room, with someone who has caused us grievous, perhaps irreparable harm. Gerardo, for example, has always believed that Paulina does not remember maisen many times she was raped in captivity: It was an agent of the state who was torturing, or “disappearing” bodies, or censoring.

A documentary, produced in the yearswhich is still banned in Chile to this day. ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics. Paulina watches from the terrace as Gerardo feeds Miranda and the two men talk.

What is a personal issue for them is reflected in the social quandary faced by countries like Chile or Argentina, in which the process of investigation goes on despite the promise of a clear resolution any time in the near future.

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.

A vicious circle

Explore the Home Gift Guide. Yet these are small matters compared to the basic insufficiency of reducing a national and individual tragedy to a mere whodunit.

She explains that she has already called a mechanic, and when the latter arrives, she ushers Gerardo out of the house to retrieve their car.