Arthur Miller: Connections to the Past - English with Elliott
Arthur Miller: Connections to the Past Mr. Miller Himself Mr. Miller recently passed away at the age of 89 on February 11, 2005. He died of heart failure at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut.
According to CNN.com, [his plays] made him one of the leading lights of 20th century theatre Photos from Google images. The Travels of Death
1950 - first sound recording of Death 1951 - 1st film version 1951 - 1952 - US Tour
1954 - 1st radio production 1983 - Miller directs Death in China 1985 - film version with Dustin Hoffman on CBS; 25 million see it! Ta-Dah! 1999 revival of Death on Broadway on the plays 50th anniversary
Millers Legal Troubles Suspected of being a Communist sympathizer Death seen as un-American Miller has troubles with the HUAC/McCarthy ( House Committee on Un-American Activities) 1953 - Miller denied a passport 1955 - HUAC pressures NYC not to allow Miller to make a film for them on juvenile delinquency
The Saga Continues... 1957 - Miller convicted of contempt of Congress for refusing to name names And then... 1958 - US Court of Appeals overturns his contempt conviction Millers Assertions
Death is not a document of pessimism. Death is not un-American; it celebrates the life of Willy Loman. Miller believes that tragedy is inherently optimistic. From Classical Tragedy Unity of time -- the final 24 hours in
Willys life Unity of action - the play is complete unto itself the tragic herowith a twist Also from Classical Tragedy the heros traits, esp. being a mixture of
good and bad and being of higher moral worth than others in society the concept of the heros flaw the heros capacity to willingly endure suffering the catharsis of the audience The Common Man as Hero Millers thoughts:
Everyone knows Willy Loman. (allusion to the morality play, Everyman.) The common man is suitable for a tragic hero. Willy is meant to be seen as greater and better (at least in potential) than his society. Millers Modern Tragedy
The hero is a common man. The hero struggles against society. The hero meets his downfall. The downfall is a result of an incongruity between his own perception of the world
and reality. The hero achieves a kind of redemption in his downfall. Arthur Miller via Dr. Walker More from Miller Willy Loman is worthy of being viewed as a tragic hero because he is ready to sacrifice his life to secure one thing--his sense of personal dignity.
Arthur Miller From Millers Tragedy and the Common Man the tragic hero is intent upon claiming his whole due as a personality, and if this struggle must be total and without reservation, then it automatically demonstrates the indestructible will of man
to achieve his humanity. The possibility of victory must be there in tragedy tragedy requires a nicer balance[than pathos] between what is possible and what is impossible. And it is curious, although edifying, that the plays we revere, century after century, are the tragedies. In them and in them alone, lies the beliefoptimistic, if
you will, in the perfectibility of man. It is time, I think, that we who are without kings, took up this bright thread of our history and followed it to the only place it can possibly lead in our timethe heart and the spirit of the average man. Arthur Miller 1949
Themes in Death Willy Loman as a modern tragic hero An individuals search for meaning and purpose in life (not Willy, but Biff) failure in pursuit of success Mans need to leave a thumbprint somewhere in the world. An examination of the materialistic values of society
More themes in Death The love of a father for a son and a son (Biff) for a father The conflict between father and son The question of who shall wield the power? the problem of communication High Praise
Death of a Salesman stunned audiences with its brilliance and was quickly earmarked as a classic of the modern theatre.
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