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  • Der Besuch der alten Dame geht zu Ende
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Der Besuch der alten Dame

Der Besuch der alten Dame


The town of Güllen is preparing for the visit of Claire Zachanassian, who is returning to her home town as the richest woman in the world. A great hope of ending the town’s ailing financial situation is connected with her appearance. Alfred Ill intends to latch onto a previous relationship with Claire and convince her to give generous support to Güllen. At a reception for the town’s famous daughter, she promises two billion if Alfred dies. The moral outrage is huge, and the offer categorically refused. Claire wants justice for what she once suffered because of Alfred Ill. After Alfred has asked for protection and aid from the police officer, the mayor and even the priest, he realises that he is alone and that Claire’s offer is already having its initial effects. No one can resist the material temptation and falling into further debt. Alfred feels increasingly threatened and his fear grows by the minute. He arms himself, looks for Claire and is ferociously determined to kill her. But both are overcome by the feelings they had in the past. Nevertheless, she cannot and will not forgive Alfred. Alfred Ill, in despair, makes the decision to leave the town. He is already expected at the station, and the whole of Güllen wishes him a good journey. But the train leaves without him in the end. The mayor informs him about the meeting of the townsfolk, at which a vote is to be cast about his case. After all the years which have passed, Alfred admits to his wife that he has never loved her and only married her for her money. Mathilde’s world falls apart and she hope that Alfred will have his just punishment. Alfred admits to Claire that he has only ever loved her. Nevertheless, she just cannot forgive him; the wound is too deep. The meeting of the townsfolk now, in the name of justice, sits in judgement against Alfred Ill, who is found guilty because of his ignominious behaviour towards Claire many years ago. When Claire bursts in, Alfred is already lying lifeless on the ground. She kneels down to him and accuses all those present of the murder. Nevertheless, the inhabitants of Güllen are glad to have saved their town.