The characters seem to jump out of an ancient Greek tragedy, disguised as people of the time that the play was written, but who still carry the old archetypal qualities. According to Askew “The central figure by which this…emotional ritualization occurs is…Madame Zachanassian and especially by her association with the Sphinx; for it is through this sphinx-like figure that all ...
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...ival. They do not realize that she is the one responsible for the economic destruction of the town. As a result, the story has a tragic ending, which also implies that the Gülleners, eventually, will have to face their own fate for killing a person they had no right to kill. However, “…by observing the disastrous consequences of heroic vengeance on the tragic stage, the audience are encouraged to appreciate the benefits of their own social and legal processes aimed at resolving cases of interpersonal violence.” (Allan 596) Therefore, the theme of vengeance for Dürrenmatt’s play was not merely a way to make the narration more interesting. As a tragedy serves as a message towards the viewers in order to criticize and make them reflect back on their way of acting and thinking, Dürrenmatt uses his play to convey his messages to post-war Europe and especially Switzerland.
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