Death of a Salesman is a 1949 play written by American playwright Arthur Miller. It was the recipient of the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play.
I read this play script right before I watched the stage play in London at The Noël Coward Theatre. It’s only about 100 pages long and quick to read like dialogue always is compared to prose.
It was probably the first time that I attempted to read the script before watching the play – and it was great to know every single thing that happened on stage. (Because normally I do miss stuff said on the stage.) So I might do it again in the future. I love stage plays, have loved it since high school. And now that I’m in London it is the perfect place to go see them. I try to go at least a couple of times a year.
The story is very bleak, as you can tell from the title. It’s about the death of a salesman in every single aspects, literally and metaphorically. It is about the decaying of dreams and finally realizing that you haven’t made it, and not even your sons have made it. But it wasn’t just about watching a train wreck of a man and his family. I’m generally not one to like any kind of misery books and the likes, but the play goes deeper. The dynamics and the relationships of the characters are quite complex and handled tactfully.
As a side note, before I went to New York I seemed to not able to recall any books set in New York, but after I came back I keep bumping into them. This play is set in outer New York and Boston.
Mee’s rating: 4/5 – Some people may not like this play because it’s so crushingly sad, but I can see why it’s become one of the classics – it has the whole package of drama, complex characters, purposeful dialogues, and believable turns of events.