Roberto Miranda , all citizens in an unnamed country that is recovering from the after-effects of a violent dictatorship. Determined to mete out her own brand of justice, Paulina surprises Roberto in the middle of the night, kidnapping him and announcing to Gerardo that she is going to put Roberto on trial for the crimes she believes he has committed. Meanwhile, Paulina offers Gerardo a compromise: if Roberto formally confesses to his crimes, she will let him go. Although she forgave him at the time, it is clear that Paulina still bears great anger towards her husband for his betrayal.
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When reading the play, I felt that I had heard the story before, and I had actually seen it twice before reading what I consider the original. Both shows pride themselves on using relevant topics for their content so I was surprised to realize that a play about Chile written 30 years prior was a basis for episodes from the shows. It proves to me that the topic of survivors finding a place in the law is still very much relevant today.
She believed him to be her attacker because he played a song that had been repeatedly played while she was raped, creating a physical reaction for her. She uses a gun and kidnaps him to hear his confession, like Paulina does to Roberto. The episode makes you uncomfortable because as the man is pleading his case to the survivor, he seems so rational and believable.
This is very much like Roberto. He tries to outsmart her by throwing logical alternatives to her belief that he committed the crime. Like Paulina, the survivor is portrayed to be the one that is crazy. She seems overly aggressive and irrational- a contrast to the man who seems to be trying to bring reason in the situation.
The kidnapped man who the woman believes the perpetrator is believed. Because the man is portrayed as the rational one, both episodes are uncomfortable. This leads for me to the question of where the law provides space for survivors, especially female survivors. The reality is that in each of these works, the law does not offer an obvious place for women. So much so that the women believe that it is better to kidnap their alleged abuser rather than turn to the police. These women are angry.
The law seems to be actively working against them and believing the perpetrators and so they believe that they have to find justice for themselves.
This anger and frustration with the law is misplaced by the women which causes them to be portrayed as crazy and irrational. As discussed in Criminal Minds, the system is a revictimization of these survivors so they create their own system.
The law is imperfect here. It does more to serve the perpetrators than it does for the victims so the victims get angry. Their credibility is destroyed with their anger because of how they seem, giving the credibility to the alleged perpetrator they have kidnapped. Even though the two shows were made much later than the play, the fact that they used the premise of the play shows that this topic is still very much an issue today and the law is still not giving survivors the space that they need.
When he walks outside though, they arrest him for the 12 rapes. The man in Law and Order is also found to be guilty. I think the fact that these two modern takes end differently than the play proves that the law is moving more towards finding concrete answers for survivors. Maybe it is going to take a long time still and it is not going to be an easy journey, but the modern versions could be showing a shift in mindset of the people, which could lead to changes in the law.
And this change could provide room for survivors in the law- something that each of these works prove is necessary for the success of justice. Each of the works also prove how important a confession is to the healing of survivors. While they each change elements of the story, especially the endings, all of the survivors on the show want a confession.
It shows how important the truth is for the law and for the healing of victims. These women need to hear their attackers confess and tell the truth so that they may start their healing process. The space in which they do this is their own because the law does not provide one for them. Share this:.
Death and the Maiden Study Guide
I feel like this could have been a little longer. Mar 09, Aria rated it liked it A play on the psychological aftereffects of the violation of human rights in a country emerging from totalitarian dictatorship, and to some extent, the cycles of violence. This play is a little confusing in the beginning but things clear up when more information is given. I find it clever that the characters can symbolize things and that the play can pretty much be set anywhere.
Death and the Maiden
Paulina Salas — 38 years old Gerardo Escobar — her husband, a lawyer, around forty-five Roberto Miranda — a doctor, around fifty The time is the present and the place, a country that is probably Chile but could be any country that has given itself a democratic government just after a long period of dictatorship. Synopsis[ edit ] Paulina Salas is a former political prisoner in an unnamed Latin American country who had been raped by her captors, led by a sadistic doctor whose face she never saw. Years later, after the also unnamed repressive regime has fallen, Paulina lives in an isolated country house with her husband, Gerardo Escobar. When Gerardo comes back from a visit to the president, he gets a flat tire. A stranger named Dr.