Critical Companion to Arthur Miller: A Literary Reference to by Susan C W Abbotson

By Susan C W Abbotson

Arthur Miller, most sensible recognized for his works The Crucible and dying of a salesperson, is one among America's most crucial dramatists. serious significant other to Arthur Miller offers a competent, updated, and encyclopedic resource of data on Miller for prime tuition and college-level scholars, academics, and most people. fiction, brief tales, and poetry, in addition to lots of his vital essays and demanding items. additionally integrated are unique entries on literary, theatrical, and private figures very important to Miller; key phrases and themes hooked up to his paintings; and numerous theatrical businesses and locations with which he has been linked. and significant exams of Miller's significant and minor works; Descriptions of Miller's characters, from Willy Loman to John Proctor; Entries on humans, locations, and themes vital to Miller's existence and paintings, together with Brooklyn, democracy, Elia Kazan, and Marilyn Monroe; and, necessary bibliographies and a chronology of Miller's existence.

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It encapsulates an attitude of selfish dismissal, a refusal to recognize a common humanity, and it is Holga who teaches him to claim the idiot child, embracing it just as she embraces Quentin and thereby accepting its humanity, however flawed. Miller was at this point more experienced as a playwright than when he tried to depict the inside of Willy Loman’s head in Death of a Salesman. In one sense, this play shows the culmination of Miller’s desire to find a form that could aptly convey the mind of a single protagonist to the audience.

The following is a synopsis of the original play, but After the Fall has enjoyed several revivals, for which Miller rewrote the script. His revisions mostly condense the second act—some critics felt that it overwhelmed the first act—but the play has continued to provoke cautious reception even into the 21st century. Monroe’s specter seems still to haunt the play, and both the 1984 Playhouse 91 production with Frank Langella and the 2004 Broadway revival with Peter Krause met mixed reviews, as did the NATIONAL THEATRE’s 1990 version in GREAT BRITAIN, despite the director MICHAEL BLAKEMORE’s decision to cast black actress, Josette Simon, as Maggie to help reduce the distraction of the Monroe connection.

Stinson views both Quentin and Maggie as Christlike redeemers. In a detailed analysis of the play in his 2005 study of Miller, Christopher Bigsby considers both the play’s relationship to Camus and the unproduced screenplay that Miller wrote which lies in archives at the HARRY RANSOM RESEARCH CENTER. Those scholars who find the autobiographical elements inescapable are torn between viewing Miller’s insistence that all are guilty as a trick to excuse himself for his past mistakes and the death of Monroe or as a brave self-examination in which Quentin is found guilty and faces that burden squarely.

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