Death and the Maiden Study Guide

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Death and the Maiden
La Muerte y la Doncella
PLOT

Act I: Scene 1 After midnight, at the Escobar’s beach house Gerardo comes home to a nervous Paulina; he was given a lift home by Dr Roberto Miranda G has accepted position on the president’s Commission

Act I: Scene 2 One hour later, the beach house
R arrives at the door to drop off spare tyre and help fix it; has heard about G’s appointment to Commission G invites R to stay overnight, promises P will make breakfast

Act I: Scene 3 A short time later, the beach house
P ties up R, renders him unconscious
P drives away R’s car

Act I: Scene 4 Before dawn, the beach house
R regains consciousness
P’s monologue – her history of studying medicine, breakfast, Death and the Maiden P plays cassette of Schubert’s Death and the Maiden
G enters, is shocked upon seeing tied-up R; tries to reason with P tow truck arrives
P says she wants to put R on trial

Act II: Scene 1 Midday, the beach house
P talking to gagged R – her torture, imitates torturers, relationship with G G enters, reasons with P
G gets drink of water for R
P takes out tape recorder and ungags R
R accuses G of not being responsible for his wife’s actions, says P is mentally ill P escorts R to bathroom
P and R return, P gets G to tie R up again
P and G move out onto the terrace to talk
-justice
-details of P’s torture
-G says will have to resign from Commission, equanimity, truth P returns inside to retie R, imitates her male torturers
-P’s evidence: voice, skin, smell → guilt
-G asks P to forget her torture
-P talks in more detail about her torture, feels that R should be raped as punishment -P says wants confession from R, if he doesn’t confess then she’ll kill him

Act II: Scene 2 Lunchtime, G and R sit at table eating, P on terrace watching G feeds R (whose hands are tied), whilst eating
G takes on role as R’s lawyer
-R says P needs psychiatric therapy
-G says R is her therapy, explains P’s evidence to R
-R defends,...
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