Death and the Maiden

An Analysis of Gerardo’s Role in Death and the Maiden 12th Grade

In Death and the Maiden, Gerardo constantly opposes Paulina’s ideas and plans, providing a more rational and less emotionally-charged solution. Gerardo acts as the voice of reason to emphasize Paulina’s irrational and crazed tendencies in the play. Throughout his drama, Dorfman uses Gerardo as a representation of Paulina’s conscience and as the voice of reason to display Paulina’s state of distress.

Starting in the beginning of the play, Dorfman illustrates how calm Gerardo is in nature by comparing him to Paulina, who is undeniably nervous. Upon entering the house, Gerardo “sees Paulina hidden behind the curtains” (Dorfman 3). As Paulina interrogates Gerardo regarding his whereabouts, he answers her in a composed manner, attempting to calm her down. Gerardo constantly tries to reason with Paulina and show her a different perspective on certain situations. When Paulina questions whether or not her husband’s Commission only investigates cases that end in death, Gerardo responds with this, “The idea is that if we can throw light on the worst crimes, other abuses will also come to light” (Dorfman 9), attempting to explain to her that their legal processes are just, however patience is required to see that. This speaks to Gerardo’s...

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