The Visit Character Analysis

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The Use of Allusions to Characterize Claire and Critique Human Nature in The Visit Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s The Visit is an absurd, yet profound play, critiquing flaws of human nature and society, most notably the ruthless thirst for justice and revenge that people often succumb to. These vices are illustrated through the prototypical town of Güllen, which falls prey to the billionairess Claire Zachanassian’s vengeful schemes. Claire’s goal is to get revenge on the man who betrayed her in their youth, going to great lengths and hurting relatively innocent people to secure “justice”. Claire’s characterization as a ruthless woman scorned is integral to the play’s plot and it is facilitated by allusions to Greek mythological characters, such as Medea, the Fates, and the Furies, who all represent some aspect of Claire’s character and ambitions. Dürrenmatt uses allusions to Greek mythology to characterize Claire Zachanassian and critique the abuse of power to ruthlessly obtain justice and seek vengeance. Dürrenmatt most directly compares Claire’s character and motivations to the Greek sorceress Medea throughout the play to illustrate the greatness of her power and its role in obtaining justice. Similarly to Claire, Medea spends the majority of her story manipulating the ex-husband who betrays her, while vengefully plotting to kill him using her powers. The most direct reference to Medea comes when the Teacher says “You are an injured, loving woman. You demand absolute justice. You
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