The Visit (German: Der Besuch der Alten Dame, accurately The Visit of the Old Lady) is a 1956 tragicomedy by the Swiss playwright Friedrich Dürrenmatt. It is almost certainly the most excellent identified of his efforts in the English-speaking world, predominantly due to its numerous schoolwork in German A-Level and Higher lessons. The play contracts with the subject matters of chastisement, self-indulgence, vengeance, and honorable strong points.
Does Dürrenmatt intend us to have sympathy with Alfred Ill?
The Visit: A Tragic-comedy, by Friedrich Durrenmatt, has been interpreted from German into English by Patrick Bowles. This three-act theatrical production has a patent date of 1956, and the English translation has a patent date of 1962.
This is a contemptible story with a well-built satiric essence. The chronicle takes place in Guellen, a European municipality that has collapsed into trade and industry hopelessness and crumble. As the play commences the townspeople are enthusiastically awaiting the appearance of Claire Zachanassian, a hometown young woman who has gone on to be converted into super-wealthy. The townspeople look forward to her financial and economic openhandedness will accumulate Guellen. But from the beginning of the first act, Claire intimates that she has a threatening, even lethal, definitive objective.
This is a multicolored, handsomely occupied mysterious comedy. It’s filled of impressive exchange of ideas, apprehension, and monstrous characters. A most important subject matter is the nervousness connecting capitalistic self-indulgence and the Western humanistic convention. The play is furthermore concerning sex, dishonesty, and discrimination.
With Claire’s non-natural body elements, out of the ordinary entourage, and multihued back-story, Claire is one of the most extraordinary and noteworthy characters in the times past of drama–conceivably for the most part, she is the authoritative and powerful feminine theater character from the time since Lady Macbeth. She is delightful and fascinating yet threatening, fantastic yet incongruously and strangely compassionate. The establishment of this character is, in my judgment, an immense and enormous achievement and accomplishment for Durrenmatt.
The visit of Claire Zachanassian plunges the diminutive municipality of Guellen into ethical and honorable commotion as she suggests a payment of one million dollars for the assassination of a man by the name of Ill, who fallaciously deprived of his fatherhood of her infant. Two subject matters come into sight as the truthfulness of the populace gradually flows away to their downhearted ravenousness. Most outstandingly, the general public cannot be in this world with the conception that they are entrusting a morally wrong act and consequently authenticate the assassination as an essential evenhandedness because of Ill’s misdemeanors “we are not moved by money: we are moved by this matter of justice and how to apply it” (Friedrich Dürrenmatt, pp. 91).
But without a doubt the general public is stimulated by money for the reason that of all of them, from the time of Claire’s intentions, has bought a lot of lavishness on account. In the same way, Claire legitimizes her aspiration to have Ill exterminated as an act of offended and injudicious love for the reason that she does not desire to plead guilty her aspiration for punishment: “But my love could not die. Neither could it live. It grew into an evil thing, like me” (Friedrich Dürrenmatt, pp. 88). It is understandable; on the other hand, that it is in reality retribution she wants because at the establishment of the play she acknowledges to Ill: “Now I want accounts between us settled” (Friedrich Dürrenmatt, pp. 39).
Hiding behind Justice:
Even though all appeared well in the conclusion impartiality being through and the town being put aside from its trade and industry hopelessness and despair the contemptuous suggestion of the play is that money is supplementary of an intention than existence and principles, ethics and righteousness in the accurate sense of the expression. It is understandable that no one beyond doubt considers that it is accurate to take life of Ill for the transgression of his secluded ancient times. Yet as soon as the recommendation is made for a million dollars, the point of view instantaneously commences to revolutionize unexpectedly the townspeople start to consider or articulate they suppose that Ill wants to be killed in order to provide fair dealing. They go as distant as to affirm to the opposing that they are not assassinating Ill for the money, but exclusively for the sake of integrity and honesty. This catastrophic lie contradicts the contemptuous goodness of mankind.
To Love to Death:
It is possibly when love is at its strongest position that it can offer existence to put to death. That it can constrain mental illness and, when unreciprocated, even appear similar to detestation. But this is not the case with Claire and Ill. For the reason that true feel affection will take hold of each and every opportunity to become conscious of itself, whether it is enthusiastic to forgive and forget or not. Claire communicates undoubtedly that she wants to have accounts among her and Ill settled that is by having him killed. But it was delimited by her influence to have him back.
Claire and Ill instantaneously retain information about their lovely earlier period as soon as she disembarks. They thrust back into the contentment and feel of affection for their formative years. At this point Claire possibly will come back together with Ill. But she does not. Consequently she does not truthfully love him; she leaves behind this probability to bring together in order to command his murder. She simply secretes at the back of her false demonstration of love, as the villagers conceal behind what they identify as impartiality, in order to conserve her declining personality and decorate cold retribution.
The Global Truth:
No play is a play exclusive of significance. What we can draw from “The Visit” is an international interpretation on the financially viable lack of correspondence of the majority of the humanity. The inhabitants of the west laze around in prosperity and sumptuousness at the same time as the rest of the globe moves violently to exist at all. And we delight ourselves for affectionate tranquility, self-determination, and social equality as if we are the only human beings to cuddle such principles and give good reason for overseas’ incursion and exploitation and mistreatment on the incongruous foundation of principles, covered in complacency.
Just as the general public of Guellen gives good reason for their merciless assassination of a man for money, with each and every dollar we squander, so do we embrace our delicate, progressive domination and substantial massacres of thousands each and every day.
The book is a complete package for the people who love to read suspense, tragic and comedy stories. This book has an essence of all the flavors. The Visit is an accomplished, shocking Dürrenmatt intermingle of amusement, dreadfulness, and lightheadedness.
Dürrenmatt, Friedrich and and Patrick Bowles. 1994. The visit: a tragi-comedy. Published by Grove Press. Pages 91, 88, 39