August Strindberg creates a morally bankrupt couple trapped in a crumbling marriage in The Dance of Death, Part 1. Despite preparing to celebrate their silver anniversary, the Captain and his wife Alice seem to exist only to torment each other. Alice, a former actress, longs for a life of luxury and society. But the Captain, in failing physical and mental health, does his best to relive his glory days of the military before he is removed from his post at the fort. When Alice’s cousin Curt arrives for a visit, the couple’s antagonistic battle of wills reaches a violent peak. At times darkly comic, at others macabre and melancholy, The Dance of Death, Part 1 is a fine example of Strindberg’s masterful dramatic symbolism.
The characters reach their final fates in the sequel, The Dance of Death, Part 2.
The Dance of Death, Part 1 guide sections