Death and the Maiden

by Ariel Dorfman

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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 163

Summarize the evidence presented that Roberto Miranda is the doctor who raped and tortured Paulina. Does the play offer convincing evidence for his guilt or innocence?

Compare director Roman Polanski's film adaptation to Dorfman's original text. Screenwriters Dorfman and Rafael Yglesias altered the play's ending, providing further evidence that Miranda is guilty. Do you think this detracts from the play's original vision?

How do the life roles or careers of each of the characters seem to be reflected in their actions and beliefs?

Analyze the different ways the characters view the idea of revenge in the play. In what ways is it presented as satisfying or dissatisfying?

Research the recent work of human rights tribunals in countries like Chile or Argentina. How do accounts of this process suggest that the individuals involved balance the ethical issues presented in this play?

Analyze the theatrical device of the mirror which is lowered near the conclusion of the play. What effect(s) does this image achieve?

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