To what extent is Gerardo a sympathetic character in ‘Death and the Maiden’? Should his priority be with his wife or work?
In the play ‘Death and the Maiden’, Gerardo’s character represents the new democratic government(of which he is a member) and his wife, Paulina, is an individual affected by the horrors of the recently ended dictatorship, in which many people were tortured and killed. Gerardo faces the problem throughout the play, whether or not he should support his wife’s views or take a diplomatic stance and side with the opinions that accompanies his job. Paulina is struggling with the idea of moving into a democracy without justice being brought to those who took part in the torturing and murders in the dictatorship, as the new government is not investigating the cases that did not result in death. In contrast, Gerardo is standing for a democracy moving forward, and although understands the pain Paulina suffered, thinks more rationally about leaving the past behind, instead of thinking about the complicated emotions Paulina and many others feel are tied up in the past. The question as to what extent Gerardo is a sympathetic character is a complex one. Can he be both a sympathetic character to the views of the democracy and also to his wife’s suffering and need for tangible justice. Also the diction sympathetic, does not just mean his sympathetic character towards others but also his likeability as a character. Gerardo is a man of the government and wants a smooth transition into democracy. Therefore he believes that the act of kidnapping and even the threat of death cannot occur in his home as he is meant to set an example, ‘who should be showing exemplary signs of moderation and equanimity.’ His point is sensible, and saying that if this happened across the county, the transition from dictatorship to democracy would not be achieved. Gerardo points out how killing Gerardo will cause another wave of pain, to his family and guilt for Paulina,...
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