Death and the Maiden

The importance of the title Death and the maiden

I found out that death and the maiden is a motif used in art and music. Why does dorfman use it in his play? What theme and dorfman's ideas does the title contributes to in the play?

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"Death and the Maiden" is the title of the Schubert quartet that the doctor played for Paulina while he was torturing her. For her, it represents the beauty in society that was stripped from her by the cruelty of her torturers. Paulina longs to be able to listen to Schubert again - it would mean that she has somehow moved beyond the scarring impact of her torture and is once again able to appreciate the human experience. She believes that the only way for her to 'get Schubert back' is by putting the doctor who tortured her on trial for his crimes.