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Look Closely at the Requiem at the end of the play. Referring closely to Miller's language, explain the dramatic effect of this scene.

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Introduction

Look Closely at the Requiem at the end of the play. Referring closely to Miller's language, explain the dramatic effect of this scene. When considering the dramatic effect on an audience or reader, the first important thing to note is the author's choice to name it a' Requiem' rather than' epilogue'. The definition of Requiem is 'special Mass for repose of souls of the dead'. This really reveals what main purpose Miller had in mind for this ending and the use of 'Requiem' will influence the mood of the audience, provoking sorrow and a melancholic atmosphere. Miller uses this scene in order to illustrate how, if at all, the characters have changed and the affect Willy's death has had upon them. The power in the scene seems to lie with Charley, who Miller uses as the only character who seems to be able to face the reality of the situation. His authoritative, sweeping speech is the main feature of the requiem, where he tries to make sense of Willy's life and sympathise with him. He speaks with conviction and uses rhetorical features of language to help persuade the audience to sympathise with Willy. ...read more.

Middle

With the atmosphere being in such melancholy, Miller makes Happy angry so the audience can see his fallibility as a character. He has followed the same dream and Willy's death and subsequent failure threatens his identity. This is because Miller uses Happy to represent the wrong way of going about life and, juxtaposed with Biff, you can see how Miller criticises the American consumer dream. Biff's character has been enlightened and has broken free of the self-denial and lies Willy imposed on them through his upbringing, seeing what has happened to Willy and not wishing the same fate. Biff sees 'There's more of him in that front stoop than in all the sales he ever made' and his fondly retrospective attitude in this scene will lead the audience to be more sympathetic and affectionate towards his character. This is because he has acknowledged the death of Willy and realised why. He understands now that he must follow his own dreams not the same dream as everybody else. He can see Willy would have lived a better life if he had done so and wants to no follow him down a similar path. ...read more.

Conclusion

She cannot understand why he killed himself and it seems to her like he is 'just on another trip.' Her lack of acceptance is representative of how Linda believed everything Willy said. She cannot understand why nobody came to Willy's funeral and she feels she has to say goodbye. Her main speech draws on the sympathy from the audience and casts a sombre mood upon the play. She emphasises her disillusion with Willy's death by her repetition of 'I can't cry.' She cannot understand as she has followed what Willy has said and wanted and tied herself to his dreams for so long that she knows nothing without him. The use of flute music plying behind her speech emphasises the sorrow and hammers home the tragedy. Linda also has finally paid the house off but 'there'll be nobody home.' Miller is using Linda's confusion to highlight that material possessions do not necessarily mean happiness, contrary to what Willy believed. Linda does not know what to do with her life after Willy's death, quite simply as Willy was her life and in his death she has nothing. Miller is using this to illustrate Willy's failure to acknowledge the love and acceptance he had in his family, when he was more interested in seeking recognition in the business world. Throughtout the play WIllyTh ...read more.

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