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52 pages 1 hour read

Dario Fo

Accidental Death Of An Anarchist

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 1970

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Themes

Corruption and Abuse of Power

One of the main themes of Accidental Death of an Anarchist is corruption and abuse of power. Fo argues throughout the play that the two go hand in hand, leading to unchecked officials exploiting the people they are meant to serve. Throughout the play, the police fixate on covering up the beating and murder of an anarchist who was under police interrogation. As the play progresses, The Fool manipulates the police into repeatedly incriminating themselves.

The audience learns that the police had framed the anarchist: Any evidence of his involvement in the bombing was circumstantial at best, and The Chief and The Captain lied during the interrogation to trick the anarchist into a confession.

CHIEF. Don’t give me the innocent act! You know exactly what bombs I’m talking about: the ones you people planted in the railway cars at the central station, eight months ago.
FOOL. But did you really have the proof?
CHIEF. No, but just like the Captain was trying to explain before, it was one of the usual tricks we police officers apply pretty often (34).

The police have made lying to their suspects and ‘tricking’ them during interrogations commonplace.

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