Plays Directory : Death of a Salesman

The information below is intended to give you a brief guide to the show and highlight some of the other The Mandy Network members who have also been involved in this show.

  • Author
    Arthur Miller
  • Overview
    Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller is an alegorical tale about the demise of the 'American Dream'. The protagonist of the play is Willy Loman, a salesman. At the beggining of the play Willy returns from a failed sales trip after having a car accident. He has faded from a successful sales career and is struggling to survive in a changing world. The play's action is set both in the present day and in a series of flashbacks. It is through the use of flashbacks that the audience is able to build up an understanding of the attitudes and relationships of the Loman family. The play's present day action revolves around the return home of Willy's sons Biff and Happy. Biff left home after he finished school and became a drifter for fifteen years. He failed to find fulfilment in this and has now returned home. Happy persued a career in business and has found success measured in material ways, but he is also unfulfilled. Willy has imbued in his sons his own perspective on life. He believes that to be a success in America, all you need is to be 'well liked and good looking'. Unfortunately this is illustrative of the denial that all the Loman's are guilty of. In the second act Biff goes to see Bill Oliver, Willy's previous employer, to get financial backing for a sporting goods store that he and Happy want to set up. When Willy meets his sons for dinner we learn that Biff didn't even meet with Mr Oliver. After his sons leave the restaraunt Willy attempts to give the waiter his money and go and buy some seeds. He wants to plant a garden in an attempt to leave some sort of legacy after his death. When we see him in the garden he is having an imaginary conversation with his dead brother Ben, a man who went to Africa and made a fortune mining diamonds. This was an opportunity Willy passed up, and at pivotal moments in the play we see Willy talking to Ben. Willy tells Ben his plan to kill himself and leave the insurance money for his family, he then has a fight with Biff who says he is leaving the next morning. Willy kills himself that night and imagines he will have a hero's funeral, with hundreds of people attending to mourn his passing. We later see that the only attendees are his wife and sons and his neighbour Charlie and his son Bernard.

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6 known characters

5 known roles

Connected mandy members:

Jessica Astley
Jessica Astley
Lighting Technician
2011, Lighting Designer
Wayne Dowdeswell
Wayne Dowdeswell
Lighting Designer
2009, Lighting Designer
Bridge House Theatre