Death and the Maiden

Marriage in Death and the Maiden 11th Grade

Ariel Dorfman's play “Death and the Maiden” revolves around a husband and wife, Gerardo and Paulina, living under an unstable democracy after a long chapter of oppressive dictatorship. In this moral thriller, Paulina accuses a man named Roberto of being the physician who tortured and raped her in the times of her abduction during the dictatorship. Gerardo meets Roberto in the road after getting a flat tire and Paulina claims to recognize his voice as her supposed torturer’s. She then justifies holding Roberto captive when he visits Gerardo in the middle of the night, and then asks for an impartial trial under Gerardo’s examination. With this probationary, not only does Paulina challenge the existence of her past brutal relationship with Roberto, but also threatens her relationship with Gerardo. While the images of Paulina’s abduction flashback through her mind, she digs up the buried skeleton of Gerardo’s betrayal as well. Ariel Dorfman reveals instability within Paulina and Gerardo's marriage through his use of sarcasm, repetition and flashback.

Gerardo and Paulina use sarcasm as a means to communicate with each other. It generally requires a great deal of familiarity with an individual to...

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