On Dorfman's Death and the Maiden. David Luban. Gerardo Escobar, the human rights lawyer, is late returning from his meeting with the President, and his wife Paulina is edgy as she keeps dinner warm in their isolated coastal home. Sudden thunder, sheets of rain, and the electricity goes out, cutting off the radio news in midsentence.

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Look Inside. Achieves a universality that is movingly personal. Relentlessly paced and filled with lethal surprises, Death and the Maiden is an inquest into the darker side of humanity—one in which everyone is implicated and justice itself comes to seem like a fragile, perhaps ambiguous invention.

A writer for adults, Ariel Dorfman is an exile from the Pinochet regime in Chile and the child of holocaust refugees. He has written several plays about repression and dictatorship including Death and the Maiden filmed by Roman Polanski.

Add to Cart. Also available from:. Paperback —. Also in Penguin Plays. Also by Ariel Dorfman. About Ariel Dorfman A writer for adults, Ariel Dorfman is an exile from the Pinochet regime in Chile and the child of holocaust refugees. Product Details.

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Death and the Maiden's haunting relevance

Death and the Maiden is a play by Chilean playwright Ariel Dorfman. It had one reading and one workshop production prior to its world premiere. 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. 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 Summary

Roberto Miranda , all citizens in an unnamed country that is recovering from the after-effects of a violent dictatorship. A grateful Gerardo offers Roberto a room for the night, but after hearing Roberto's voice, Gerardo's wife Paulina becomes convinced that their houseguest is the doctor who raped and tortured her after she was abducted by the secret police fifteen years earlier. Determined to mete out her own brand of justice, Paulina surprises Roberto in the middle of the night, kidnapping him and announcing to Gerardo that she is going to put Roberto on trial for the crimes she believes he has committed. Gerardo, however, has recently appointed been to an Investigating Commission that the country's new democracy has set up to examine crimes of the dictatorship, and he is horrified by Paulina's attempt at vigilante justice. Meanwhile, Paulina offers Gerardo a compromise: if Roberto formally confesses to his crimes, she will let him go. Although she forgave him at the time, it is clear that Paulina still bears great anger towards her husband for his betrayal.

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