Death and the Maiden Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. How does the play, DEATH AND THE MAIDEN, open?

The play opens quietly, possibly in Chile, but in any country who has survived a long dictatorship and replaced it recently with a democratic government. Moonlight bathes the first person on stage, Paulina Salas, who is sitting out on the terrace.

2. What does Paulina do when she hears a car?

The tension immediately picks up when Paulina hears a car, looks out the window and grabs for a gun.

3. What does Paulina hear while she is hiding?

She hears her husband, Gerardo, get out and speak to someone in the car, inviting them in for a drink and then, when declined, invites him back on Sunday. She does not hear the other half of the conversation.

4. How is Gerardo acting when he comes in the house?

Gerardo is apologetic. We learn that he is quite late for dinner.

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