52 pages 1 hour read

Dario Fo

Accidental Death Of An Anarchist

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 1970

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Act I, Scenes 1-2

Act Summaries & Analyses

Prologue Summary

The published script begins with a brief prologue recounting the story of Giuseppe Pinelli, a real-world anarchist whose death during a police interrogation bears striking similarities to that of the fictional anarchist in the play. Pinelli was arrested after a series of unexplained bombings in Milan and Rome. During the interrogation, he fell—or was thrown—from the window of the police station and died.

The Prologue notes that another anarchist, named Salsedo, flew out the window of a police station in New York in 1921. In an ironic tone, the prologue’s narrator concludes from these incidents that anarchists have a tendency to jump out windows because they believe they can fly. The narrator notes that “Some observers have suspected that anarchists are able to fly, but they are also so underhanded that they smash themselves to the ground, just to incriminate the police and other state institutions by dying” (7).

Act I, Scene 1 Summary

Accidental Death of an Anarchist begins with The Fool and The Sergeant in a “normal room” on the second floor of the Milan Police Headquarters. The room has an ordinary desk, large cabinet, some chairs, a typewriter, and two doors.