Wendell Pierce as Willy Loman at the Young Vic Theatre, London, 2019 (c. Brinkoff Mogenburg)
013 – Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller
Arthur Miller’s great American classic Death of a Salesman is surely one of the most famous plays in history, being a constant on stages around the world and an enduring standard on educational curriculums. Miller’s psychological portrait of the eponymous salesman, Willy Loman, became emblematic of the personal challenges and costs for ordinary people in pursuit of the American Dream. It remains popular and relevant not just for its social commentary, but also for its innovative dramatic form and language, and for the emotional power of its characters and story.
We are delighted to welcome Dr Stephen Marino, founder of the Arthur Miller Society, to the podcast, who joins us from New York to explore how a play about a particular American family written more than seventy years ago continues to provoke and move us.
Dr Stephen Marino
Stephen Marino is the founding editor of The Arthur Miller Journal, which features essays on all aspect of Miller’s life, work, and career. It is published by the Arthur Miller Society, in cooperation with the Arthur Miller Centre at the University of East Anglia and St. Francis College in Brooklyn, where Dr Marino is also on the faculty.
He is also the former president of the Arthur Miller Society, and his work on Arthur Miller has appeared in many journals and essay collections. He is the editor and author of several books on Miller, including Death of a Salesman & The Crucible – A Reader’s Guide to Essential Criticism (2015), Arthur Miller’s Century, Essays Celebrating the 100th Birthday of America’s Great Playwright (2017) and most recently Arthur Miller for the 21st Century – Contemporary Views of his Writings and Ideas published in 2020.
When I contacted Steve to ask him if he’d join me on the podcast his response was that “he never passes up the opportunity to talk about Miller!”
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We have footnotes for this episode …
The Footnotes to our Death of a Salesman episode cover the real life salesman in Miller’s family, why Happy likes bowling, more on fathers and sons, and on the fluid form of the play.
Suggest a play
We’re always open to suggestions about plays to talk about, so if you’d like us to discuss a favourite of yours, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know why you think we should cover it, and if you know anyone who’d be excited and qualified to talk about it with us (even yourself if modesty permits!).
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Photo: Johan Persson
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