Death and the Maiden Themes

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Atonement and Forgiveness

While there exists no acceptable rationale for the violence of the military regime, Paulina implies that she can forgive the individual for being fallible: she promises to release Miranda if he will confess to torturing and raping her. Miranda does not genuinely appear to ask for forgiveness; he does so only in the context of a confession which may be falsified. Paulina, although she ultimately chooses not to kill Miranda, does not forgive him, either. The play suggests that despite the lingering pam of political oppression, there is no concrete act that can atone for past wrongs.

Death and the Maiden

The title of Dorfman's play comes from the quartet by Schubert which Paulina associates with her abduction and torture. She finds a cassette of this music in Miranda's car. The piece, String Quartet No. 14 inD minor (D. 810), takes the name "Death and the Maiden" from...

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This section contains 1,044 words
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Death and the Maiden from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.