Need a perfect paper? Place your first order and save 5% with this code:   SAVE5NOW

‘Death of a Salesman’ by Arthur Miller


American playwright Arthur Miller wrote the play ‘Death of a Salesman’ in 1949. The play is about William, or simply Willy Loman, a sixty-year-old salesman whose first name reflects his childlike mental stature. From the onset of the play, Willy is contemplating suicide; he is having a lot of daydreams and hallucinations. Willy has just canceled a business trip due to exhaustion. His wife Linda Loman is worried about his recent accident and asks him to ask his boss Howard Wagner to relocate him, Willy, to act his hometown. Willy complains to the wife that their son Biff, who failed to join university because he failed in mathematics despite being a good football player, has not amounted to anything in life. Biff and his brother Happy contemplates their father’s mental degeneration. Biff goes the next day to make a business proposal while Willy asks his boss to allow him to work in his hometown. They both fail in their endeavors, and Willy is fired from his job. That night, Willy’s urge to commit suicide intensifies, and he takes his car and goes to kill himself after Biff has reminded him that they are ordinary men who could not amount to anything in life. Willy’s funeral is attended by his family, his neighbor Charley, and his successful son Bernard. Biff insists that he does not want to take after his father, while Happy intends to emulate his father and become a businessman.

‘Death of a Salesman’ was a play on 13th February 2012 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. It was directed by Mike Nichols, who did a splendid job on his choice of characters except for his choice of Andrew Garfield, who displayed inadequacy in theatre performance ability and skills in taking the role of Biff Loman. Though playing the role of Biff, who is 34 years old, while he is 28, Andrew has a charismatic aura. He can take control of the stage, although Andrew’s failing, in my view, is to portray the childishness/ boyishness of the rebellious elder son of Willy Loman, the antagonist Biff Loman. Garfield’s role in the play best fits as a much younger character, probably in their teen.

And given that Biff Loman is the play’s antagonist, Garfield’s underrepresentation of him affects other actors. This show needed a compelling Biff that Garfield did not provide. The character who instead stole the show, per se, is Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who plays the role of Willy Loman. Although Hoffman is almost 20 years younger than Willy Loman’s actual age, he does not fail to impress in representing the childlike, daydreaming characters of Willy Loman. He succeeds in ringing out Willy’s optimism of the American dream, which fails at the hands of capitalism.

In aspects of production, Mike Nichols wows the present audience for his choice of set Jo Mielziner’s breathtaking skeletal-house, a work of art, which achieves in serving the purpose of change of times and place. In lighting, Brian MacDevitt’s choice of golden light helps build the play’s mood. The sad/ mournful music by Alex North sets up the play’s tone and succeeds in moving the audience from reality.


In summary, Mike Nichols stages a master performance by staging the play ‘Death of a Salesman.’ From the choice of character to focusing on different aspects of production, his work is plausible.

Work cited

Miller, Arthur, Ward Morehouse, and Wolcott Gibbs. “Death of a Salesman. 1949.” (1973).


Don't have time to write this essay on your own?
Use our essay writing service and save your time. We guarantee high quality, on-time delivery and 100% confidentiality. All our papers are written from scratch according to your instructions and are plagiarism free.
Place an order

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Need a plagiarism free essay written by an educator?
Order it today

Popular Essay Topics