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University Degree: Arthur Miller
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Willy takes none of this into account: because Ben became so rich so fast that Willy looks up to him as an idol. Ben offered him the opportunity to go to Alaska with him, a very tempting offer for Willy. Willy agonises acutely over what, with hindsight, given his present failures, he considers a mistake made by not going with Ben. In Act I he talks to Charley about Ben's death, Willy - ...we got a letter from his wife in Africa.
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The tragedy that occurs however is personalised through the mental stumbling and emotional complications of a few ordinary lives. These other, more general issues are intertwined with the main thread of the story and add to the devastation of the outcome. It is Alfieri, Miller's principle narrative character that links these issues in his bleak commentaries that analyse the development of the play and communicate the passage of time. His role is reminiscent of the Greek chorus narratives that frequented the traditional Greek tragedies fold. Arthur Miller intended the play to be a modern version of this genre, in which a central character is led by fate toward an inescapable destiny.
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The basis for the dramatic conflict in 'Death of a Salesman' lies in Arthur Millers conflicted relationship with his uncle, Manny Newman, also a salesman. Manny imagined a continuous competition between his son and Miller refusing to accept failure and demanded at least the appearance of complete confidence in his household. Miller in his youth had written a short story about an unsuccessful salesman, which he revived after his experiences with his uncle. The result was that he produced one of the most successful dramas in the history of the American stage.
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Consider how one character other than Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman and one character (including the chorus) other than Oedipus in King Oedipus contribute to the 'action' of each of these plays.
Therefore, Greek Theatre laid more importance on the text as this could be easily projected around the amphitheatre; action was conveyed through the spoken word rather than through physical movements and gestures. A 'dramatic revolution' took place in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with a move back to ideas similar to those of the Greek Theatre. The plays of Ibsen and other playwrights of his era such as Chekhov, placed a huge importance on the use of dramatic texts.
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He wants us to reconsider the way we think about the Miller. However, the reason for doing this is a bit unclear to me. We are first introduced to the Miller in the General Prologue to the Cantebury Tales, where he is described as a "stout carl" told that "He [is] a ianglere, a golyardeys, / And that [is] moost of synne and harlotryes" (561). We are told about his brute strength, so brute that he is able to tear down doors with Trujillo 2 his bear hand, or by head butting.
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Miller's drama can be compared to his real life in some ways. "New York-born Arthur Miller's father, Isidore Miller, was a garment-maker, wrecked in the great depression. The abrupt change in fate had an intense impact on Miller. The family shifted to a small house in Brooklyn, thought to be the type of Brooklyn home depicted in Death of a Salesman" (Galvin). "This desire to move on, to metamorphose - or perhaps it is a talent for being contemporary - was given me as life's inevitable and rightful condition", he wrote in Timebends: A life (Kirasto).
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To what extent does Arthur Miller's character 'Willy Loman' conform to the conventions of a tragic hero? Discuss with reference to the play "Death Of A Salesman"
Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller, is a good example for modern playwrights to follow. It contains all four of Aristotle's conditions a tragedy must have. Serious Magnitude means the people in the play are important. In older times the principal characters were kings, queens and other nobility, but in our modern society kings and queens are more likely to appear in tabloids. The modern hero has become everyone. The characters represent the entire society and the issues we face are the same issues the characters deal with. The play must also have a hero with a tragic flaw which can be something personal, family circumstances out of his control. He must also evoke (arouse)
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'Death of a Salesman� written in 1949, is a moving destruction of the whole myth. To be hard working, honest and have ambition were the ways of the American Dream. This lead onto success, wealth and in due time - power. But this dream for everyone developed, and encouraged greed, selfish behaviour, pride and rivalry between one another. Willy Loman was 'caught-up� in this American Dream. It causes business to develop in the world. Capitalism and also the profit motive and competitive instinct, makes Willy have a weakness in his personality. This weakness was caused by a combination of business pressures.
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This would mean that Willy was completely unaware of his role as a victim in the play. It would also imply that Willy was not in control of his own fate. From the beginning of "Death of a Salesman" we see Willy playing the very victimised role of the conformer. Near the end of the first scene, as he speaks to his sons in one of his flashbacks he says: "the man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates personal interest, is the man who gets ahead."
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However, her behaviour does suggest the cultural notions, common in that period, of restraint, or even timid, femininity; and, as the play bears out, masculinity of the time was overly identified with the virile figure it of athlete, businessmen, and soldiers. Willy's compulsion to lie has sometimes made him unable to distinguish between fact and fiction, and often chooses illusion over reality. For instance, Willy comes back to his children after working in New England telling them that he has been selling all day at large quantities before confessing to his wife that has can only just afford to pay
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Critically discuss Michel Foucault's concept of knowledge/power with reference to Arthur Miller's film "The Crucible."
In The Order of Things, Foucault can give up the philosophy of the subject without depending on ideas from social issues in society, which, according to his own analysis, are confined the modern form of knowledge. Foucault had studied the form of knowledge that appears with the claim of rescuing the intelligible from everything empirical, accidental, and particular, and that becomes especially suitable as medium of power in particular on account of this "pretended separation of validity from genesis" (Kelly: 1995, p.82).
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Arthur Miller said that his first title for “Death of a salesman” was “The inside of his head”. Why do you think Miller considered using this as a title and how can a production of the play convey to an audience that it is about Willy
The present is shown as a realistic view of what is happening to Willy and his family. But the past is mainly shown as how Willy remembered it. He may have remembered it in a slightly different way to what it was like in reality, as he felt his past was all he had to cherish, the past was all the hope he had left, to him, everything else had seemed to whither away. Onstage, unreality is shown using lighting, golden light is used on Willy's figures of respect, such as Ben.
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