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Without the stage directions, the tragedy of Death of a Salesman could not be realised. To what extent do you agree?

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Introduction

"Without the stage directions, the tragedy of Death of a Salesman could not be realised." Beginning with an analysis of ... to what extent do you agree? Obviously Death of a Salesman is a play, so stage directions are very important in the development and the performance. But in some plays the stage directions are there just for confirmation, as the speech plays a large role in what happens logistically on the stage. But in Death of a Salesman there is a very different story in terms of stage directions, Arthur Miller wanted the tale of Death of a Salesman to be one that touched upon real life, all of the setting, the two story family house and the average car, as well as the characters, A husband working hard to provide the mother trying to do what she can at home and two sons trying to make the best out of what they have during their younger years. But to fully finish off this aim of reality Miller needed to include some stage directions that the reader can link too when the script is read through and also vivid imagery when the play is watched by an audience. ...read more.

Middle

Miller created anonymity, nobody knows of Willy Loman yet, the stage directions have created suspense and curiosity amongst readers and the audience. The scene is then set for a city landscape with towering, angular shapes behind the house which leads us to believe that the house is placed amongst the suburbs of a thriving city. When the scene cuts into the interior of the house we are presented with a basic kitchen, it is described as having a table, three chairs and a refrigerator, '...no other fixtures are seen.' After this description, dimension is added. Miller has stated exactly how he wants the set to look like, in such precise detail that it must be nearly impossible to add any variation to that set. Later in the play Miller's choice of stage directions proves vital to visualize what exactly is happening, in ACT 2 - at the end of the dialogue with Willy and Howard stage directions are used to show how the set should be transformed to show the new dialogue between Willy and Ben. ...read more.

Conclusion

The same goes with the sets, each scene that requires a new setting has been gifted with precise instructions and detailed passages of how to achieve this, they stay consistent when returning to the scenes and they also hold place in quick and easy identification of rooms, Miller has provided the readers and audience with the means to enjoy the play because they don't need to imagine any detail of the play themselves, he has given all the detail and it is down to a reader or an audience member to just piece them together and allows more focus on a story that is being told. It appears also to not only add ease to the digestion of the storyline but helps to keep the gravitas of the sorrowing moments in the play, by adding emotion to the scenes and characters the saddening scenes do not lose any of the seriousness and should appear in the mind of the reader as Miller felt they should. Need another point and a conclusion. ...read more.

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