Death and the Maiden


Ariel Dorfman

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Death and the Maiden Symbols

The Sea

The sea is a background presence in Death and the Maiden, overlooked by Paulina and Gerardo’s beach house. It functions in subtle and various ways. First of all, it represents unknowability—and, indeed, big…

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Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden”

Classical composer Franz Schubert is mentioned throughout the play. In particular, his quartet “Death and the Maiden” crop up frequently. In general terms, classical music is supposed to be evidence of mankind’s refinement and elevation…

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The Gun

Paulina becomes the most powerful figure in the play with the simple fact that she is holding a gun and the other two men are not. The gun allows her to take control of a…

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The Mirror

Though the play for the most part sticks to strict realist principles, with believable dialogue and a unity of time and place, Dorfmann completely disrupts this stability at the play’s conclusion. His stage directions give…

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