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Death Of A Salesman Play Analysis

Decent Essays
On February 10, 1949, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman premiered for the first time at the Morosco Theatre in New York, NY. Initial reviews were positive, and the play was described as a “notable piece of stagecraft”. Ever since, there have been thousands of productions of Miller’s famous play, including a recent production at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in 2012. However, this production did not garner the same successes as its predecessors, despite the production was intended to become a revival of the play, with a fresh interpretation. In his article, Erik Haagensen analyzes Mike Nichols’ 2012 production of Death of a Salesman, particularly how it fails to revive the play due to poor casting.
Mike Nichols’ production of Death of a Salesman was intended
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Haagensen compliments Wittrock’s ability to find the balance between Happy’s flirtatious, superficial side and his zealous, family-oriented side. Haagensen laments that Wittrock would have been a much better Biff than Garfield. Portraying Linda Loman is none other than Linda Emond, who challenges how audiences have previously perceived Linda Loman. Rather than the submissive wife, Emond portrays Linda as a fiery mother who goes toe-to-toe with her husband and children. Haagensen suggests that while she gives a strong performance, certain choices in delivery make some moments fall flat. Another character Haagensen makes note of is Willy’s dead brother Ben, played by John Glover. The character, which is presented as a figment of Willy’s mind, is portrayed by Glover with “…a heightened energy that transcends naturalism” (Haagensen 18). Haagensen claims the production has both positive casting choices, but also very negative ones. However, to him, the negatives far outweigh the positives. In Haagensen’s review, the casting choices made by Nichols singlehandedly stifle the potential of his
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