A critical analysis of the visit Essay

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A critical analysis of the visit

The Visit

The modern play, The Visit, exemplifies the meaning of old Greek tragedy. The
story portrays a young woman named Claire Zachanassian whose life was changed at the
age of seventeen. This life was put on hold by Anton Schill, her one and only true love.
The story has many elements that portray a typical Greek tragedy play. They are faced
with moods and feelings of a Greek chorus to the conflicts and problems of a Greek
tragedy. Even though The Visit is seen as a modernized play, it still holds the
characteristics of a Greek tragedy play, such as, Antigone by Sophocles.
Claire Zachanassian can be seen as a person in inescapable pain. At seventeen her
life was ruined by Anton Schill, a man she once loved. Her relationship with Schill was
abruptly stopped when she became pregnant with his child. Claire brought Schill to court
so she could get his help to raise their child. Schill refused immediately and bribed two
men by the names of Jacob Hueblen and Ludwig Sparr, with a bottle of schnapps, to
incorrectly testify that they had slept with her on occasion. The testimonies of the two
men left Claire no choice but to leave town and become a whore. When Claire marries
she becomes a rich and powerful woman. Even though her power exceeded everyone’s
from her past, what happened became a vital aspect in her life that could never be
changed. Claire sees that no matter what she has become, what happened will not change
part of her. Therefore, Claire Zachanassian becomes the one character that demonstrates
a person who goes through inescapable pain in the play. She seeks a revenge and in order
to reach this revenge she hires men, from her past, to take on her duties. She hires the
magistrate, who took on her case at seventeen, Bobby Hofer, as her butler and Kobby and
Lobby, who are earlier known as Jacob and Ludwig, to be her slaves.
Although The Visit is not a Greek tragedy, it exemplifies the basic rules of a
Greek tragedy. The play presents the reader with a Greek like chorus known as the
townsman. The townsman are very similar to the chorus in Antigone by Sophocles. The
use of Gullen’s townspeople compare to the Greek tragedy Antigone because they are
both the voice of the people. In a Greek chorus a group of individuals gather together
throughout the play to discuss the moods and feelings of the people in the town. The real
use of the townsman in The Visit is to stir up conflict and moods of the audience. The
chorus represents the ideas of the audience and of the entire town. In every Greek tragedy
there is a chorus which lets you look into both sides of the story.
Claire, a dynamic character in the story, is like a goddess. The story portrays her
to be someone with little morals and concerns. As the story progresses the reader can
begin to understand why Claire would be imaged as a goddess. Since Claire has become
very wealthy, the town of Gullen looks up to her for help. They prepare for her to come
into Gullen with banners and welcome signs. Everyone looks up to he, as though, she is a
goddess figure who has come to help the people. She was considered a savior, by the
people, but really she was the one dooming them from the start. She does this by owning
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