Death and the Maiden

( 4 )

Overview

Ariel Dorfman's explosively provocative, award-winning drama is set in a country that has only recently returned to democracy. Gerardo Escobar has just been chosen to head the commission that will investigate the crimes of the old regime when his car breaks down and he is picked up by the humane doctor Roberto Miranda. But in the voice of this good Samaritan, Gerardo's wife, Paulina Salas, thinks she recognizes another man—the one who raped and tortured her as she lay blindfolded in a military detention center ...

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Overview

Ariel Dorfman's explosively provocative, award-winning drama is set in a country that has only recently returned to democracy. Gerardo Escobar has just been chosen to head the commission that will investigate the crimes of the old regime when his car breaks down and he is picked up by the humane doctor Roberto Miranda. But in the voice of this good Samaritan, Gerardo's wife, Paulina Salas, thinks she recognizes another man—the one who raped and tortured her as she lay blindfolded in a military detention center years before.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This powerful political drama and psychological thriller by the noted Chilean writer premiered in London last summer, where it won the Time Out Award for Best Play. In March it opened in the United States on Broadway, with direction by Mike Nichols and starring Glenn Close, Richard Dreyfuss, and Gene Hackman. The play focuses on a woman who finds herself in the position to exact revenge upon a man whom she believes to have been her torturer 15 years earlier. In telling this story, the author also addresses the dilemmas which touch all our lives: innocence and evil, truth and lies, forgiveness, and revenge. This is a worthwhile addition to modern drama collections.-- Howard E. Miller, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Missouri Lib., St. Louis
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140246841
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/1994
  • Series: Plays, Penguin Series
  • Edition description: Tie-in
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 138,008
  • Product dimensions: 4.98 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Ariel Dorfman, poet, novelist, essayist, and playwright, is a Chilean expatriate who lives with his family in Durham, North Carolina, where he now holds the Walter Hines Page chair at Duke University.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 12, 2009

    Interesting dramatization of ethical dilemmas

    I read this play in preparation for an audition. Although I did not get the part, I found it useful discussion of what to do about reaching justice for past sins. Although the setting is in South America, it could apply to any country which is now moving towards democracy after a despotic past.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2005

    Provocative, intelligent, and riveting

    Ariel Dorfman's play, 'Death and the Maiden', is a powerful human drama that forces the audience to at least think about or challenge our preconceived notions of what justice is. Although very short, the play is tersely and cohesively written and never lets you feel like something has been left out. The plot involves a woman named Paulina Escobar, the wife of an important lawyer, who believes that the man her husband has invited to stay the night at their house is the same man who once tortured and raped her. The story takes place in a country (it's hinted to be Chile) that is attempting to make the transition from dictatorship to democracy. The pains and horrors of the past is what surfaces with the arrival of Dr. Miranda, and the events that take place afterwards revolve around what should be done with him. What Dorfman exposes in the play is how ambigious the concept of justice is. By the end of the play, for instance, I was asking myself questions like 'what's the use in seeking justice for crimes that have been committed against you if you're never satisfied' and 'is it ok to lie if it's in everyone's best interest?' 'Death and the Maiden' is a very provactive play, one that I will not easily forget. Recommended!

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    Posted November 6, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2009

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