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Analysis and summary of Dürrenmatt's "Visit of the Old Lady"
Analysis and summary of Dürrenmatt's "Visit of the Old Lady"

Friedrich Dürrenmatt is a well-known Swiss German-speaking playwright, prose writer and publicist. He is the winner of many literary awards: Molière, Schiller, Austrian State Prize.

old lady's visit summary

Short biography

This great man was born on January 5, 1921 in the village of Konolfingen, near the canton of Bern. Three years later, the youngest daughter Vronya appears in the family. Due to a financial crisis in 1935, the family was forced to move to Bern.Friedrich's father was a country pastor. In this regard, the boy was brought up very strictly, which protected him from the society of his peers. Perhaps this influenced the development of his talents: from an early age he began to draw and write. For all his works, he created illustrations with his own hand.

In 1935, Friedrich entered the Free Gymnasium in Bern, but later transferred to the Humboldtianum. Teachers often complained about his behavior, he did not have success in his studies. Friedrich himself later said that the years of study for him were the most unpleasant time in his life.

After graduating from the Humboldtianum, he entered the university inZurich, but soon transferred to the University of Bern. However, in 1943, he dropped out of school and went directly into literature.

dürrenmatt old lady's visit summary

Creative fruits

Two years after the beginning of his creative career, the first play "For it is said" was released. It was staged at the theater in 1947, but did not make much of a splash. However, the creation of this theatrical production was fateful for Friedrich. He met actress Lottie Geissler, they soon got married and moved to Ligerz. Since the husband is the head, in a family with five children, the issue of material nature has become.

Good job

He did not stop doing creative work, and the second play "Romulus the Great" brought him a long-awaited success.

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The third play "The Marriage of Mr. Mississippi" brought him fame. After staging these creations, Friedrich Dürrenmatt was recognized as a playwright on a national scale.

play the old lady's visit summary

In addition to fame and popularity, he practically got rid of financial problems: he was still far from a beautiful life, but he did not need to count a penny to buy food for his wife and five children.

Own style

By that time, he found himself in dramaturgy, decided on his own style and issues in his works: the playwright was best able to reveal the themes of human impotence and opposition to the cruel world. His writings have never been easy to read orviewing, have always been filled with meaning and difficult for psychological perception. At that moment, the future immortal creation (no longer a summary of The Visit of the Old Lady, but a full-fledged tragicomedy) was preparing to be staged.

analysis summary visit of the old lady of dürrenmatt


The play "The Visit of the Old Lady" is phenomenal (a summary is indicated in this article). The description of the main themes of mankind brought the author worldwide fame. In his creation, the author touched upon the problematic issues of all time: loy alty, honesty, revenge, power, love and passion for money.

F. Dürrenmatt, Visit of an Old Lady. Summary

Despite the fact that the play is psychologically difficult, many people re-read this creation more than once. I would like to note that even the brief content of "The Visit of the Old Lady" intrigues, shocks and awakens the desire to watch the play on the big stage.

summary of the contents of the old lady's visit

The action takes place in the twentieth century in the small town of Güllen. The city decides to visit the former resident Clara Tsakhanasyan, nee - Vesher. At that time, she is an elderly millionaire. The once industrial city is now on the verge of poverty: plants and factories are standing, residents are going crazy from lack of money. Upon learning of Clara's arrival, everyone hoped that she would give money as a gift for the prosperity of the city. The grocer Ill, with whom Clara had previously had an affair, was suggested to push her towards this decision.

The spectacular appearance of Clara made all the inhabitants of Güllenflinch. Trains do not stop in this town. Therefore, in order to get out, she had to break the stopcock. Seeing her appearing surrounded by a whole retinue, the residents gasped. The once-young Clara Vescher was followed by her seventh husband, two large men carrying her train, a butler, maids, and two blind men, Kobi and Lobi. The appearance of the lady was also shocking: instead of her right arm and left leg, she had innovative prostheses. She lost her limbs in a plane and car accident. The luggage that was carried behind her consisted of countless suitcases, a coffin and a cage with a black leopard. Passing by a policeman, she asked if he knew how to turn a blind eye to what was happening in the city. Clara also asked the priest if he forgives the sins of those sentenced to death. The Holy Father, in turn, replied that the death pen alty was abolished. The main character said that she would have to be reintroduced. Witnesses of this dialogue were left in complete bewilderment.

Ill decided to take his former lover to the places of their stormy love, to resolve the issue through surging memories. Ill later married Mathilde Blumhard, a we althy dairy heiress, and Clara married Zahanassian's millions. After love memories, Ill admitted that he always dreamed of returning long-past feelings, between which he asks his beloved to help the city with money.

On her return from a nostalgic trip, at a gala dinner hosted by the local head, Clara announces that she will donate a billion to Güllen: five hundred million to rebuild the city, another five hundred will be divided among residents, but withprovided they do justice.

After this statement, she asks her butler to come out to the people. It turned out to be the former judge Güllen, whom everyone recognized. It reminds people of a lawsuit that took place 45 years ago. Then Clara Vesher was expecting a child from Ill, and he, in his defense, brought two drunkards who, for a bottle of alcohol, testified that they also slept with Clara, and paternity is not confirmed. After that, young Clara was expelled from the city in disgrace. She ended up in a brothel, and the newborn girl was sent to an orphanage, where she died a year later.

For the girl it was a great tragedy, after which she vowed to herself to return to the city and take revenge. After marriage, the first thing Clara ordered the thugs to find false witnesses in her case and blind them. Since then, Lobi and Kobi have been living near her.

After the announcement of this story, the lady said that Gullen will receive a billion if someone kills Illa. The priest replied that none of the townspeople could be the executioner, but Clara said that she had time to wait.


Ill began to notice that most of the residents began to get new things, they began to buy expensive products. He tried not to take what was happening to heart, but soon a sense of hopelessness from imminent death took possession of him.

Meanwhile, Clara plays another wedding with a young actor, the townspeople have fun at the feasts. The people gradually forget about begging, the industrial enterprises of the city resume their work one by one. The burgomaster, unable to bear everything that is happening, asksIlla commit suicide and give the city a chance to live a normal life. The elderly grocer refuses, but Illa finishes off the last event. The black leopard, which she brought with her, ran away from the millionaire. In her youth, Clara referred to Illa as "her black leopard". Soon the leopard is caught in the forests and killed. The former lover finally came to terms with his own death. At the city meeting, all residents unanimously vote for the execution of the man.

After the meeting, Clara came up to Ill and said that she still loves him, but this love is like a monster inside her. After that, the brave townspeople deprive the grocer of his life. The we althy old lady kept her promise: the money was given to the city and the people. Leaving the city, Clara takes the body in a coffin and takes it to a manor by the sea, where she places it in a mausoleum.

A brief analysis of the play

The essence of tragicomedy is closely connected with the people of our day. Many crimes that take place in real life are similar to a play: someone simply moves away from the problem, someone takes a "moral" point of view, and in the end everyone becomes accomplices, since no one tried to help and solve the illegal situation. The work speaks not only about the very fact of the murder, but also about secondary factors: the temptation for which the townspeople went for it. The author showed the power of money and how it can change even a priest and a policeman.

Also, Dürrenmatt made us think about our actions so that our own "old lady" does not come into everyone's life. Analysis and summary of the "Visit of the oldladies" by Dürrenmatt shows that the themes covered in the 1955 play are relevant to this day.

Staging on stage

dürrenmatt f old lady's visit summary

The summary of the content of "The Old Lady's Visit" is delightful. Undoubtedly, this is a brilliant play that touches on the pressing problems of people of that time and our days. For the first time, a summary of the play "The Visit of the Old Lady" in Moscow was presented by director Ilan Ronen. The hall of the Maly Theater was filled with countless spectators, it was possible to buy tickets only a few months before the performance. The Maly Theater has not seen such a full house for a long time. The Swiss writer Dürrenmatt, even in the summary of The Visit of the Old Lady, was able to intrigue millions of people, and the full-fledged play left the audience in wild delight.

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