Wendell Pierce as Willy Loman at the Young Vic Theatre, London, 2019 (c. Brinkoff Moegenburg)

013 – Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller

Oct 8, 2020 | Podcast Episodes | 4 comments

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 Stephen 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!”

Recommended Play

Stephen recommended A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller.

The Texts

If you are interested in buying the play text or other related books, we’d be delighted if you choose to purchase them by following the links below. We will earn a small commission on every book you purchase, which helps to keep the podcast going. You will also be supporting an independent bookseller. Thank you.

Photo © Marc Brenner

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.

4 Comments

  1. Ann C. Hall

    Wonderful discussion of an amazing play that seems to grow more and more relevant every year.

    Reply
  2. Gavin Richardson

    I’m teaching this play in a college lit class right now and am playing clips from this podcast for the students. Very helpful. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Douglas Schatz

      Thank Gavin. I’m delighted that you’ve found the podcast and it’s proving useful to you. Thanks for your encouragement.
      D

      Reply

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