Ariel Dorfman’s explosively provocative, award-winning drama is set in a country that has only recently returned to democracy. Gerardo Escobar has just been. Dorfman, Schubert, and Death and the Maiden. David Schroeder. Dalhousie University. Follow this and additional works at: In his article, “Dorfman, Schubert, and Death and the Maiden,” David Schroeder suggests that the selection of the play’s title Death and the Maiden () by.

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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.

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.

Death and the Maiden’s haunting relevance

deat She sends Gerardo out to get Roberto’s car so he can go home. This page was last edited on 16 Octoberat With the same cast and director, it transferred to the Mainstage at The Royal Court on 4 November Death and the Maiden is a play by Chilean playwright Ariel Dorfman. David SchroederDalhousie University.

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 ahd abused power without destroying the fabric of a reconciliation necessary to move forward.

Order by newest oldest recommendations. Neither did I let the victims off the hook. Authors David SchroederDalhousie University. A woman awaits the return of her husband as the sun goes down. In his article, “Dorfman, Schubert, and Death and the Maiden,” David Schroeder suggests that the selection of the play’s title Death and the Maiden by Ariel Dorfman is a careful one.

Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. When Gerardo comes back from a visit to the president, he gets a flat tire. Loading comments… Trouble loading? 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. Paulina recognizes Miranda’s voice and mannerism as that of her rapist, and takes him captive in order to put him on trial and extract a confession from him.


Throughout the play it is uncertain whether details are evidence of Roberto’s guilt or Paulina’s paranoia. While they are alone for the last time, Paulina accuses Roberto of being unrepentant and guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Death and the Maiden

For other uses, see Death and the Maiden disambiguation. 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.

Susie Porter played Paulina with Eugene Gilfedder as the man whose voice might be his undoing. Miranda’s similarities with Schubert’s Death. Death and maicen Maiden film. After hearing the full deaht of her captivity from Paulina, Gerardo formulates a confession with Roberto to appease Paulina’s madness and set her free from her past. I can’t help but ask if 20 years from now I will be writing this phrase all over again: Schroeder further explains that the connection with Schubert’s work is also better understood in relation to Schubert’s belief in the impossibility of returning to life “as it was before” after destructive episodes.

Unconvinced of his guilt, Gerardo acts as Roberto Miranda’s lawyer and attempts to save his life. Comparative Literature and Culture 9. Schroeder argues that Schubert was much more a political creature than has been widely recognized and that Dorfman seems to have sensed intuitively Schubert’s political nature. Miranda drives Gerardo home and later in the night he returns.

Dorfman, Schubert, and Death and the Maiden.

In fact, at the end of the play, as Schroeder argues, it is Schubert’s music from the quartet that has the final say. Recommended Citation Schroeder, David. Years later, after the also unnamed repressive regime has fallen, Paulina lives in an isolated znd house with her husband, Gerardo Escobar. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Just as today in Egypt or Russia, for that matterthose who had benefitted from decades of privileges xeath oppression continued to occupy enclaves from where they controlled the economy, the judiciary, the military, and threatened to return and murder and plunder and banish. Miranda stops to assist him. Paulina records the entire confession and has Roberto write it out and sign it.


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: 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. Show 25 25 50 All.

The dictator was no longer hte power, but his influence, his disciples, his corrupting shadow invaded every aspect of political life. 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.

I t happened yesterday but it could well be today. The elite of Chile hated what I had done, reviled it. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Death and the Maiden (play) – Wikipedia

And now I have come back to London, and my characters have returned to the dorfmna that embraced them when they were as homeless as I was. An opera based on the play has been composed by Jonas Forssell with the libretto by Ariel Dorfman.

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 anv my compatriots did not want for themselves was celebrated by the world. But one does not create such a transgressive play in a country still reeling from many years of pain without suffering the consequences oneself.

The dictatorship that plagued her land has just fallen, and everything is uncertain. Retrieved from ” https: The woman is full of fear, gripped by a secret terror that she only shares with the man she loves.