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Abstract

In his article, "Dorfman, Schubert, and Death and the Maiden," David Schroeder suggests that the selection of the play's title Death and the Maiden (1991) by Ariel Dorfman is a careful one. Schroeder proposes that it is not only that the title of the piece comes directly from Franz Schubert's String Quartet in D minor, so named because it uses material from the song of the same name as the theme for the second movement. Schroeder argues that Dorfman's thoughtful choice is as much related to the strong parallels between Schubert's Maiden and Dorfman's character Paulina Salas, as to Dr. Miranda's similarities with Schubert's Death. Schroeder further explains that the connection with Schubert's work is also better understood in relation to Schubert's belief in the impossibility of returning to life "as it was before" after destructive episodes. Schroeder argues that Schubert was much more a political creature than has been widely recognized and that Dorfman seems to have sensed intuitively Schubert's political nature. In fact, at the end of the play, as Schroeder argues, it is Schubert's music from the quartet that has the final say.

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