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Write a critical appreciation of the "Requiem" To what extent does this passage reflect the tone, style and concerns of the play as a whole?

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Miller: AS Level Coursework Write a critical appreciation of the "Requiem" To what extent does this passage reflect the tone, style and concerns of the play as a whole? In your answer you should: * Respond with understanding to the text's genre and period (AO2i) * Analyse and evaluate Miller's choices of form, structure and language to express meaning (AO3) At the opening of this scene the tone is sombre, filled with sadness, anger, frustration with even an underlying sense of relief. While all these feelings are present throughout the play they are intensified here, filtering from the characters into the audience, creating a real sense of tragedy and loss. A vivid empathy is formed as we associate with Willy's family member's individual reactions to the "Death of a Salesman". This scene is in a way a crossroads in the lives of Biff, Happy, Linda and Charley. They have had to cope and come to terms with the death of a loved one, what they learn from it and how they choose to live their lives after it is what makes the play relevant eternally. There are few stage directions, leaving the audience to concentrate more on the language, which in itself provides the real drama. ...read more.


During the course of the play we can see his epiphany from believing himself to being a "big shot" to the realisation that he's a "dime a dozen". In a way one might see this as giving up, yet he has learnt from his father that blowing yourself full of hot air and telling lies doesn't get you anywhere. "I know who I am, kid." He is therefore accepting defeat, at least in the profession as a businessman, now he too is free and can escape to the west and become the "ageing cowboy" he always wanted to be without the disapproval and criticism from Willy. Through Biff, as at other stages in the play Miller highlights in the Requiem how Willy's dreams were "All, all, wrong.". Yet the audience is left wondering how Biff will fund his purer form of the "American dream" which now in its corrupt stage centralises around money, and will Biff ever find happiness? Happy is Willy's dream regenerated, enveloped in the unavailing desire to "show some of those pompous, self-important executives that Hap Loman can make the grade" and prove that "Willy Loman did not die in vain". The harsh reality that Happy refuses to see, but which is blatantly obvious to the audience is that Willy did die in vain and that he himself will never make the grade. ...read more.


Miller also uses the flute to represent Willys father wholm he never knew, a flute salesman, perhaps the seller of dreams. The Requiem brings together the themes presented in the play, it is the finale in the plot, Willys death is essential in order to stress the concepts Miller makes throughout, those of relationships, business, memory playing a major role and our dependence on society. Miller does not directly criticise American culture or politics yet injects enough evidence of failure so that the audience is left to make up their own mind. For although Willy Loman had the "wrong dreams" the right dreams are never stated, proving Miller dies not claim to have all the answers. Structuring the play cleverly and successfully, combining and merging the past and present, Miller lets us experience one day and one night in the head of a tortured man, who is "tired to the death", and shows us how we become products of our past. This final scene is only written in the present tense, showing the audience that Willy's mind has eventually come to rest. The Requiem concludes the play in a dismal and hopeless tone, reinforcing that the play is an everyday tragedy, that although Willy Loman is dead, his murderer exists and thrives in today's society and in some way in each of us. ...read more.

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