The Visit

The Visit Essay Questions

  1. 1

    Why does Claire rename her husbands, her butler, her eunuchs, and her henchmen? What might this suggest about the relationship between power and dehumanization?

  2. 2

    By the end of the play, has Claire truly bought herself justice? At what price?

  3. 3

    What is the reason for Guellen's impoverished state? How does this reason propel the conclusion of the play?

  4. 4

    Of what crime or crimes is Ill guilty? Does he ever achieve redemption?

  5. 5

    How do Claire, the townspeople, and Ill relate to "the rule of law"? Do they consider themselves "above" the law, or do they submit to its dictates?

  6. 6

    What is significant about the scene at the railway station where Ill attempts to escape Guellen?

  7. 7

    How does this play criticize the Church?

  8. 8

    Why does Claire keep Ill's body? What might this mean for her string of marriages?

  9. 9

    What is the role of the press in the play? How do they interpret the events taking place in Guellen? How does Duerrenmatt appear to view the press?

  10. 10

    What is significant about the fate of the black panther that Claire has brought with her to Guellen?

  11. 11

    Guellen is a "just" community. Agree or disagree?

  12. 12

    Why do the Schoolmaster's humanist values ultimately fail?

  13. 13

    Claire says to the Doctor and the Schoolmaster: "Feeling for humanity, gentlemen, is cut for the purse of an ordinary millionaire; with financial resources like mine you can afford a new world order. The world turned me into a whore. I shall turn the world into a brothel." Why is this speech significant, and what does it reveal about the effect of wealth?

  14. 14

    What is the significance of Claire's butler, both as a symbol and as a plot device?