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Dürrenmatt’s play tells the story of an enormously wealthy older woman, who returns to her former hometown with a dreadful bargain: She wants the townspeople to kill the man who got her pregnant, then jilted her. In exchange, she will provide enough money to revitalize the decrepit town. The townspeople eventually agree.
Money buys everything, including basic morals such as justice. It is corrupt and blinds people to such extent they will do anything for it. The hands covering the man’s face convey the reluctance to see the truth.