Exam Review 2015 Year 11 Literature Plays - Hamlet William Shakespeare General Information Hamlet is the first of Shakespeares four great tragedies, written around 1600. The plot of Hamlet is that of a revenge tragedy, a popular genre at this time. The plot centers around a noble person (royal) who has been hideously wronged and must take revenge on a powerful enemy. Hamlets delay and inaction is considered by many critics to be the central problem of the play and reflects human plight a conscience, conflict
within the good and evil in man, morality and religion. Plays - Hamlet William Shakespeare The Great Chain of Being Shakespeares audience believed in a great Chain of Being that determined the natural order of events. The chain was a series of hierarchical links with God at the top. Each level of the chain had its own hierarchy, with the king at the top of the human level. Disruptions in the chain could also disrupt the laws of nature and cause
Plays - Hamlet William Shakespeare The Moral Climate of Hamlet The King and the Chain of Being The King was believed to have been appointed by God in order to assure the stability of society. Removal of the king disrupted the chain of being and risked the collapse of order and universal disaster. Ghosts and the Devil Shakespeares audience believed in ghosts and believed that the ghost of a murdered person could return to demand revenge on his murderer. Shakespeares audience also believed in the Devil and believed that he
could appear on earth in many forms, including that of a ghost. Hamlet and the Ghost, Henry Fuseli, 1789 Plays - Hamlet William Shakespeare The character of Hamlet Ambiguous and paradoxical character that reflects the duality of human beings good and bad, selfish and selfless, action and inaction, revenge and forgiveness, faith and loss of faith. He represents the corruption and hopeful qualities of human beings in an evolving society that has power struggles, corruption and dysfunction at the centre of all social issues. Hamlet represents the human condition we will all die in the end,
experiencing the disappointment and futility of struggling in a flawed and corrupt world, clinging to constructions of religion and love for purpose. Plays - Hamlet William Shakespeare Why we sympathize with this character He delays killing Claudius he has a conscience He is isolated and depressed and has our sympathy We see inside his head, so we see his struggles and the torment he goes through He is confined to a situation that he cannot control and did not cause He loses his father, his right to the throne and is displaced by his mothers marriage, is influenced by corruption and evil He is intelligent, philosophical and very human
Passage 1 Location Act 1 Scene 2 Themes Death, Grief, Suicide, Depression, Corruption, Relationships, Displacement, Fratricide, Oedipal complex Characters - Soliloquy serves to reveal reason for Hamlets melancholia inner dialogue - Revelation of Hamlets relationship with Mother and Uncle (new husband) - First revelation of Hamlets negative attitude towards women and how he sees the world as corrupt Passage 1 Language Use - Passionate dialogue that contrasts to the previously spoken, controlled dialogue. It is disjointed and full of anger, grief and despair.
- Metaphor of melting flesh used to emphasise how Hamlet would like to evaporate and leave the physical world but he is captive to his flesh, which also thematically links to his preoccupation with his mothers sexual relationship. Melt. Thaw and resolve itself into a dew - Contemptible and futile life is defined by the use of the metaphor of an unweeded garden and the mood of decay, interference and corruption is emphasized by the words gross and rank. - Alliteration self-slaughter, - Allusion Historical, mythological characters used to draw comparisons or parallels to the play characters - Hyperion to a satyr, Niobe, Hercules - Religious symbolism or allusion Everlasting, O God, winds of Heaven, a beast it fed on - Personification incestuous sheets, unrighteous tears - Imagery Unweeded garden, That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature - Juxtaposition and contrast Hyperion to a satyr, Heaven and earth, loving and roughly ,but no more like my father/Than I to Hercules - Repetition - too and God - Sibilant consonance at the end in the lines She married. O, most wicked speed, to post. With such dexterity to incestuous sheets. - Metonymy and synecdoche I must hold my tongue
Passage 1 Importance to text as a whole Reveals Hamlets state of mind and allows a third dimensional aspect of character Provides information for the audience about why Hamlet is depressed and enables our sympathies to develop Morality of the character is established and we view him as a tragic hero Misogynistic attitudes towards women are revealed Oedipal complex is identified Richness of language use emphasizes key themes of the text Significance This passage emphasizes a contrast between the two Kings and enables the audience (reader) to identify the rightful heir to the throne (Old King or Hamlet). Reiterates the natural order or things and emphasizes the chaos and disharmony if this is disrupted madness, dysfunction, supernatural, decay and corruption Emphasis is on religion and the ambiguity and paradoxical nature of the passage reflects societies changing attitude towards the royal family and religion note Shakespeare does this subtly and tends to
promote the natural order Passage 2 Location Act 2 Scene 2 Themes Revenge, Depression, Guilt, Self worth, Mental illness, Action and Inaction, Oedipal complex Characters - Hamlets duality is emphasized as he is at the same time passionate and fearful - Hamlet speaks his soliloquy after watching the players performance. Hamlet is amazed at the players ability to develop emotions for Hecuba. - He puts himself at the peak of frustration, since he has not seen anything accomplished yet. He starts to doubt his ability for revenge. He becomes fearful of dangers and death. - Hamlet escalates his hatred toward this malicious King. He eagerly looks forward to the day of his revenge. - He switches his eager heart for revenge to the calmly scheming.
Passage 2 Language Use - Allusion Greek Mythology used as a pint of comparison to the character of Gertrude - Simile like a whore, derogatory figurative language and links to Oedipal complex - Alliteration muddy-mettled rascal, bloody, bawdy - Exclamations level of emotion and frustration - Rhetorical questions searching for answers - Metaphors I should have fatted all the region kites/ With this slave's offal - Repetition Villain, tears, murder - Allusion and references to religion to emphasize the conflict within (good and bad) heaven and hell - Pronouns movement from he and her to I and my, indicating inaction to action - Rhyming couplet creates the feeling of resolution after a struggle/conflict - Connotative words devil, spirits, oppression - Assonance - Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless Passage 2
Importance to text as a whole - Important as a plot device to enable the reader to see the complexity of Hamlet as a character - Viewer can see the internal struggle of the character and we see him as a tragic hero - Hamlets plan to expose the Kings guilt enables the viewer to see him as reasonable and creates greater engagement in the story Significance This soliloquy also creates atmosphere because of the way Hamlet talks about himself; he uses harsh language and calls himself names such as rogue, peasant slave, ass, and whore. This language makes the audience sympathize with Hamlet because he has a lot to worry about with his mother marrying to soon and his uncle possibly having married his mother. It gives Hamlet a reason to be acting so mad because there is a lot to deal with in his life, his character becomes relatable to the audience because he is overwhelmed therefore allowing there to be some justification of his actions. Passage 3 Location
Act 3 Scene 1 Themes Death, Suicide, Depression, Revenge, Justice, Madness Characters Third soliloquy spoken by Hamlet and is the most famous. This soliloquy shows Hamlets softer emotional side when he speaks of suffering and lists multiple opposing things, showing once again the inner turmoil that Hamlet is facing. The big question that Hamlet is trying to answer for himself during the course of this soliloquy is whether or not it is noble to take up arms and die defending what you believe is right. He compares dying to sleeping because it is peaceful and may lead to dreams. By discussing mortality Hamlet again allows the audience to relate to him because he reveals he is afraid of dying. This quote tells the audience that Hamlet has decided that seeking revenge is in fact a noble deed and justifiable. The last few lines also mention Ophelia, and as the audience knows Ophelia refuses to see him now and Hamlet is acting mad towards her. This shows that Hamlet continues to act mad and seek revenge and he is aware that he will lose Ophelia during the course of these events. This creates atmosphere for the audience and prepares them for the actions that Hamlet will take in the near future.
Passage 3 Language Use - Metaphors The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, "Or to take arms against a sea of trouble - Imagery - helps to convey Hamlets belief that he is alone and battling against all odds - Punctuation - Use of rather unusual syntax, especially colons and semicolons, draws the readers attention to specific areas. Colons and semicolons tend to be a rather sparsely used form of punctuation, and its overuse indicates that something particularly significant is about to be told. To die: to sleep; no more and To die: to sleep; to sleep: perchance to dream. - Words such as fardels, ills and calamity in describing life, showing how much he dislikes the painfulness of living. - Metaphors and inclusive language - for in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause. - Diction, imagery and syntax give the reader insight into Hamlets thoughts and feelings as he contemplates death and the afterlife, and the problems of life.
Passage 3 Importance to text as a whole - This soliloquy is especially important to the play because it is written with masterful language and reveals a new side of Hamlet. - This soliloquy shows Hamlets softer emotional side when he speaks of suffering and lists multiple opposing things, showing once again the inner turmoil that Hamlet is facing. - Isolation of Hamlet all are conspiring against him - Hamlets state of mind suicidal, contemplation of ones own mortality and death Three dimensional character audience sees something that not even the actor is aware of his subconscience Significance Hamlet ponders whether or not he wishes to exist, inquiring whether it's better to struggle through the trials of life or commit suicide. He declares death would be the better option if not for the unknown that death brings. It is this mystery that causes men to suffer through their mortal existence instead of ending their lives. Passage 4 Location
Act 3 Scene 1 Themes Relationships, Love, Madness, Revenge, Corruption, Betrayal, Sexism Characters Ophelia and Hamlet dialogue (she is giving back his love trinkets which is essentially the same as breaking up with him She has been put up to this conversation by her father and the King and is being used as a pawn Hamlet is suspicious, rejected, angry, vengeful The conversation has occurred after his To be or not to be soliloquy, when he was emotionally vulnerable Subject matter is preoccupied on marriage, love and mistrust of others Passage 4 Language Use Irony - By saying "are you honest" (Act III, sc. 1, line 113) and "are you fair,"(line 115) he watches her stumble over her
answers, and in a split second, knows that she playacts as much as he. Hamlet uses this to his advantage by quickly acting mad. Through his "lunacy," he rants and raves to her, convincing her that his madness comes from her. He leads her through one more trap when asking about her father (line 141). Ophelia fails this last test miserably, and he knows that she lies to him willingly and her father locates himself within spying distance. Hamlet then falls farther into his playacting of lunacy and puts on a terrific display, leading Ophelia, Claudius, and Polonius to think that his madness sprouted from Ophelia. Ambiguity - In this example, Hamlet is talking to Ophelia. The conversation is wrought with emotion, and it is unclear if the term "nunnery" means, in this case, an actual convent (meaning seek a place without temptation) or to a brothel (which is a house of prostitution). Either way, Hamlet is insulting her. Paradox- I am myself indifferent honest, but I could accuse me of such things that it were better my mother not borne me. I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offences at my beck that I have thoughts to put them in. Hamlet is saying that his mother would feel shameful of him, yet he is proud of himself. This shows that Hamlet is still making sense and doesnt seem to crazy yet. Repeated motifs marriage, love, religion Double entendre - Words with double meanings. Hamlet does this quite a bit with the innocent Ophelia. Because he believes she has betrayed him and he cannot trust her, he torments her with insults, like "Get thee to a nunnery,"
Passage 4 Importance to text as a whole Just after the To be or not to be soliloquy and we see Hamlets complete vulnerability. He is not controlled here and is completely out of control and emotional. The plays general misogyny is emphasized here and we see women as victims of their fathers and their lovers. Significance Hamlet asks Ophelia if she's honest, then says beauty corrupts honesty. Becoming angry, he tells Ophelia he loved her once, then says he never loved her. He commands her to go to a nunnery rather than become a "breeder of sinners" (3.1.120), and says all men, including himself, are "arrant knaves" (3.1.127). He condemns women for hiding their faces behind makeup. Then states that there will be no more marriagesand that one person who's married already will die. Hamlet storms off. Ophelia is heartbroken. Highlights Hamlets isolation and terminates their relationship.
Passage 5 Location Act 3 Scene 4 Themes Murder, Jealousy, Revenge, Incest, Oedipal conflict, Sexism, Conspiracy Characters Predominantly Gertrude and Hamlet, there is mention of Polonius and the King. Roles are reversed and the mother does not act as the adult and takes her lead from Hamlet This scene is known as the closet scene, it is a pivotal scene in Hamlet. Hamlet confronts his mother, Gertrude, over her recent decisions, whilst displaying his condition, his mothers position, and the relationship between them. Gertrudes character is displayed strongly here as one which is easily dominated and reliant on powerful men. Passage 5
Language Use Explicitly negative and is used to demonstrate Hamlets continued disgust at his mothers actions and to sway her to do Hamlets bidding. Hamlet uses manipulative and extreme language to press his opinion upon his mother: Good night-but go not to mine uncles bed. He instructs Gertrude to refrain from going to Claudiuss bed. By calling him his uncle, and not the king or her husband, it preys more heavily upon Gertrudes conscience and once again shows the unnatural union he believes it to be. Manipulative nature and the way in which he treats women. This is evident in his habit of openly insulting Gertrude and ordering her to follow his wishes such as Assume a virtue if you have it not. Religious imagery and references - Language such as repent, blessing, and lord are just a selection of the religious language applied in this extract, added with the repetition of words such as heaven and devil Explicit language when referring to his mothers sexual exploits and his relentless wish of her to part with Claudius: Good night-but go not to mine uncles bed Allusion - Hamlet uses the image of letting birds fly from a rooftop cage. He then adds a reference to a famous (but now lost) fable about an ape who tries to flyin this case, experiments (to see whether he too can fly if he enters the cage and leaps out)
Passage 5 Importance to text as a whole This passage occurs towards the end of the closet scene and reveals the deep bond between mother and son. It suggests that Gertrude was innocent in the murder of the King and is a victim of society who uses her sexuality to establish security in her position in life. It also shows how scheming Hamlet can be as well. Significance Gertrude becomes confused and she doesnt know in which direction to turn. Hamlet tells her that she should throw away the bad part of her heart and keep the good part of it; he wants her to pretend that she is virtuous even if she isnt. He tells her that when she goes to sleep tonight she shouldnt go to Claudius bed, as this will make the next night away from him easier for her. He tells her that he will pray to be forgiven for what he has done and that at the same time he will also pray for her to be forgiven, he wont ask for her blessing (like a son normally should do) until she is repentant and seeks Gods blessing. Hamlet tells us such has been the will of heaven that he should be punished by being the cause of Poloniuss death, and that because of this Polonius will be punished in death. Hamlet tells Gertrude that he will be honest about the death of Polonius and he carries on to say that he sees the death of Polonius as the bad beginning of a vengeance that will yet be worse. Gertrude asks him what she must do now and Hamlet tells her that she must not let the King tempt her again, she must not tell him what has happened tonight.
He tells her that he is not mad, but that he has created this madness I essentially am not in madness, but mad in craft. Once again Hamlet turns sarcastic towards Gertrude and asks her what reason a good and honest Queen may have to keep a secret from a bad and dishonest King, he tells her that if she lets any of this out she will live to suffer and that should do this for her own good. Hamlet uses a fable to illustrate to Gertrude what will happen to her if she tells anyone; she will gain nothing by it and that if she imagines that she can act with the king as cleverly as he can, independently of him, then she will be like the ape trying to fly and so will come to grief. She swears to him that she will not tell a soul. Passage 6 Location Act 5 Scene 1 Themes Death, After-life, mortality, the past, social hierarchy, religion Characters Hamlet, Horatio, Grave Diggers (Clowns), Yorick (in retrospect)
Passage 6 Language Use Tendency of using the comic in tragedy and its final canonization also became popular in Shakespeare. The comic relief is a regular feature in Shakespeare. Dark humour, philosophical depth, and words that evoke melancholy. Allusion - Dost though think Alexander looked o this fashion ithearth?, Imperial Cesar, dead and turned to clay, might stop a hole to keep the wind away Symbolism and personification Yoricks skull and the graveyard are symbolic of the past Irony - ironic fact that overreaching politicians, lawyers with their tricks, self-seeking courtiers, vain court ladies even those held to be examplars of greatness in this world, ultimately are not more than the quintessence of dust. Apostrophe and rhetorical questions express emotion and emphasize philosophical search for answers Important motif throughout the play, as Hamlet frequently makes comments referring to every human bodys eventual decay, noting that Polonius will be eaten by worms, that even kings are eaten by worms, and that dust from the decayed body of Alexander the Great might be used to stop a hole in a beer barrel. Passage 6
Importance to text as a whole Emphasizes the theme of death. Hamlets moods throughout Hamlet are so notoriously changeable slipping so quickly between subtle dissembling, theatrical playacting, and painful honesty. Allows us to see the more comical aspect of this character. Significance Whether or not Shakespeare added the scene belatedly, it certainly provides comic relief as the two Gravediggers fill the familiar Shakespearean clown role. Yet even within this scene, Hamlets behaviour is remarkably variable, and the plays mood turns on a dime from gallows humour to high seriousness. One minute the gravedigger is joking about corpses; the next our hero is delivering the iconic Alas, poor Yorick! speech, while holding the skull of the court jester who seems to have been a second father to him. Thematically the scene foreshadows the final conclusion death. It is the first in a series of death experiences. It is a philosophical and reflective scene that enables the viewer to understand the great equalizer that death is. Used as a plot device to emphasize the following impact of Ophelias death on Hamlet, we know that he is affected and did love her.
PLAYS Death and the Maiden General Information It is set in the present and the place is indeterminate (Chile) but could be any country that has given itself democratic government just after a long period of dictatorship. Paulina Salas is a former political prisoner who had been raped by her captors (led by a sadistic doctor whose face she never saw). Years later, after the repressive regime has fallen, Paulina lives in an isolated country house with her husband, Gerardo Escobar. When Gerardo returns after visiting the president, he suffers a flat tyre. A stranger named Dr Miranda stops to assist him and drives him home. Paulina recognises Miranda as the rapist, and takes matters in to her own hands in order to get justice for herself. PLAYS Death and the Maiden Ariel Dorfman began exploring the dramatic situation that was to become Death and the Maiden whilst General Pinochet was still the dictator of Chile. The play was eventually written and first performed
after Chile has returned to democracy in 1990. Although the events of the play focus on the lives of three individuals they provide a parable for any society experiencing the uneasy transition from dictatorship to democracy, corruption to justice, secrecy to openness. As Dorfman points out in his afterword to the play script, the important issues for any society that has suffered enormous conflict and pain, involve deeply psychological and difficult questions. PLAYS Death and the Maiden THEMES: 1) Atonement and forgiveness the play suggests that there is no concrete act that can atone for past wrongs. 2) Death and the Maiden title of Schuberts string quartet that reflects the mood and themes of the play, as well as the characters. 3) Doubt and ambiguity what constitutes just punishment? The effect on the accused and the accuser. 4) Freedom physical, emotional and political.
5) Justice and Injustice ideal versus practical concepts of justice. 6) Memory and reminiscence obsession, living in the past. 7) Morality and Ethics does punishment repeat the nature of the crime. 8) Human rights violations rape, torture, oppression, loss of freedom, power abuse. 9) Masculinity male and female roles, social expectations. PLAYS Death and the Maiden Style of play combination of styles 1) Realistic (Realism) An artistic representation that shows something as being accurate or true to life. 2) Expressionistic (Expressionism) A style of playwriting and stage presentation stressing the emotional content of a play, the subjective reactions of the characters, symbolic or abstract representations of reality, and nonnaturalistic techniques of scenic design. 3) Absurdist (Out of harmony Theatre of the Absurd) Plays that stress the illogical or irrational aspects of experience, usually to show the pointlessness of modern life. Samuel Beckett, Friedrich Drrenmatt, Eugene Ionesco, Edward Albee, and Harold Pinter have written plays of this kind.
The play is essentially a realistic play, until the final scene when it becomes expressionistic. The mirror to the audience aims at evoking emotions from the audience not realism. The mirror is also non-naturalistic. It is not a part of the set (the Escobar home). PLAYS Death and the Maiden The Ending The play is not fully realistic. Some critics have suggested that there is no solid resolution to the play, because the social issues presented in the play will never be resolved. The ending is left to the interpretation of the audience and there are various ideas that could be interpreted in a variety of ways. Some critics have linked Dorfmans play to the absurdist style. The absurdist style highlights the irrationality and pointlessness of life. When we see Dr Miranda at the end of the play described as having a phantasmagoric or ghost like glow, this is a form of expressionism. It is unreal and highlights and emotional perspective. Whether or not he is really dead, he is at least emotionally dead to Paulina. Perhaps it could also be seen as absurdist. Whether or not Paulina has killed Dr Miranda, it highlights the irrationality and pointlessness of life. Dr Miranda will never publicly be seen
as guilty, so in societys eyes, Paulinas actions are pointless. PLAYS Death and the Maiden Passage 1 Dialogue between Gerardo and Miranda Act 1 Scene 2 Perspective of lawyer and justice Vs criminal or accused dialogue indicates differences in views and positions Roberto seems to be testing how much information has been obtained and whether he is safe Mafia is this an admission or a revelation Mirandas dialogue indicates ambiguity Im afraid of being exposed? References to God and Lord indicate his concerns and possible punishment for crimes. Themes of morality, law and religion are emphasized here the reader is still unsure of Mirandas guilt or if Gerardo possibly knows more that he is saying. Gerardo against death penalty, Miranda for death penalty OR there are people who simply dont deserve to be alive justifies taking the life of another but then makes religious references (Contradictory)
PLAYS Death and the Maiden Passage 2 & 4 Act 2 Scene 1 (Towards the end) Dialogue between Paulina and Gerardo reveals different views about justice Change in tone and language used by Paulina my little man emasculating her husband and taking control over the situation, creates tension between the two characters Gerardo appears to be more concerned about his job and reputation which causes Paulina to take on a different voice and antagonize Miranda in the character of her torturer repeating obscenities that were said to her Passage reveals the debate about justice and punishment and the long term effects on the victim Words like prisoner and free emphasize the oppositional nature of this passage Repetition of the word screwed, emphasizes the nature and impact of the crime and the long term effect on the relationship between the husband and wife Interrogatives and exclamations are used to highlight the lack of a real solution to the issue Pauline is repeatedly questioning her own decisions
PLAYS Death and the Maiden Passage 3 Roberto and Gerardo Act 2 Scene 2 Roberto is provocative and attempts to get an emotional response from Gerardo revealing that he is manipulative and is testing Miranda Word screw comes up again and is emphasized as the main aspect of concern Gerardo is no longer the lawyer and is provoked into being the jealous, vengeful husband which could be interpreted as a ploy to cost him his position Gerardo uses derogatory terminology towards himself, Im a stupid, yellow, soft faggot indicating that he is conflicted between his belief in the law and his feelings about his wife An eye for and eye, a tooth for a tooth conflicts with the notion of law and forgiveness Roberto clearly scared of Paulina Im tired of being in the middle, in between the two of you. Indicating his position as the law and mediator between the perpetrator and the victim. Both men admit to being scared of the unknown power of the woman and the dark side of themselves, as well as the situation they are all in and where it will lead to.
PLAYS Death and the Maiden Passage 5 Act 3 Scene 1 Central conflict in the play is between Paulina and Miranda their opposing perspectives are juxtaposed against each other here, two sides to the same story Paulina describes her experience of being raped by Dr. Miranda. Roberto's voice is also heard as he describes his crimes (forced to make confession). Lighting and the recurring motif of the sound of Schubert's quartet 'Death and the Maiden' helps build up a negative mood. For instance, on page 58 (ACT III), at first "the lights begin to go down," then after Paulina mentions Doctor Miranda, "the lights go down further and Paulina's voice continues in the darkness, only the cassette recorder lit by the light of the moon." After a while, "in the darkness, we hear Roberto's voice overlapping with Paulina's and the second movement of Death and the Maiden." Then, "the lights go up as if the moon were coming out" while at the same time "the Schubert fades," where Roberto is put into light, and when he says "too late" the first time, "the lights start to slowly go down." The phrase "too late" is repeated and Ariel Dorfman keeps using lights to heighten the mood of desolation.
Repetition of specific words or repeated phrase too late, prisoners, sex, the real, real truth PLAYS Death and the Maiden Passage 6 Act 3 Scene 1 Dr. Miranda becomes desperate and knows that he will not survive. He speaks in a raging tone: "If you want to kill me, do it. But you're killing an innocent man. Death and the Maiden never fully affirms or denies Roberto's guilt. Although Paulina is convinced that Roberto is guilty because he corrects certain details she has deliberately misrepresented, he maintains his innocence until the end. This is a deliberate choice on Dorfman's part to force his audience members to draw their own conclusions and decide for themselves whether or not Roberto is guilty and whether or not Paulina's actions are justified. What about me? Victims voice is emphasized in this passage This shift of responsibility from the playwright onto the audience is emphasized by the stage directions at the end of this scene. For the first time, the play departs from realism and a giant mirror descends, forcing the audience to stare directly at themselves at the moment of the play's climax. Non-naturalistic, symbolic prop used.
Paulina has a gun to Roberto's head and is about to shoot him, and instead of watching that moment play out, Dorfman instead confronts the audience with their own images, compelling them to consider the play's most urgent questions of responsibility, justice, and complicity. PLAYS Death and the Maiden Passage 6 Act 3 Scene 1 By forcing the audience to look at themselves rather than letting the climax unfold in a traditional manner, Death and the Maiden asks its spectators to consider not only their own responses to the questions it poses, but also to observe the responses of their fellow audience members during this moment of "public" self-reflection. Meanwhile, Mozart's "Dissonant Quartet" plays in the background. This piece from 1785 is known primarily for its divergence from the standard rules of harmony from that time, which adds another layer of discomfort and disquiet to the final moments of the scene. For Dorfman, the action of the scene is less important than having the audience take the time to consider their own stances. Where do they stand on such urgent issues of justice? Would they sit silently while acts of violence are perpetrated in front of them? In what injustices have they been
complicit in the past - and what injustices might they be complicit in right now?