Arthur Miller (1915 2005) once revealed as regards his writing of Death of a Salesman that he wished to create a form which, in itself as a form, would literally be the process of Willy Loman's way of mind, and in this respect, the setting of the whole play actually stands for a flexible medium which helps to serve that purpose. As the eminent American dramatist also pointed out, within the main protagonist's mind as well as in the play as a whole, the voice of the past is no longer distant but quite as loud as the voice of the present. Indeed, to Miller, Death of a Salesman did not stand for a theoretical notion, but rather for the tangible and material icon of Willy Loman's own head on stage, disclosing the play, in such a way as to make the audience penetrate it and literally plunge into the protagonist's inner thoughts. As a matter of fact, the play was primarily entitled The Inside of his Head, and undeniably, whoever watches or reads Death of a Salesman finds one's self immerged into the convolutions and intricacies of the brains of the leading role. It is worth mentioning that Death of a Salesman, being a drama, therefore aims at theatrical representation. Even if one can consider drama as a literary creation, one has to bear in mind that intrinsically, it is meant to be performed in front of an audience. As a consequence, throughout one's analysis of a play one had read only, one has to try to envision the stage with the actors and the props being displayed before him. As a matter of fact, a play could be defined as a written composition setting down human action through the enactment of actions operated by characters, who interact with each other through dialogues, in such a way as to entertain the spectators. Death of a Salesman does not actually stand for the so-called traditional drama as far its structure is concerned: Miller did not split his plot into five acts, each comprising a certain number of scenes, as it is archetypal of Greek Drama particularly. Instead, he partitioned his play into two acts and a Requiem -the work of art being evocatively subtitled Certain Private Conversations in Two Acts and a Requiem-, but significantly, there is no division in scenes in the play, which gives the impression of a linear plot. By adopting such a peculiar configuration, Miller chose to put the emphasis on the plot as a whole, and not on specific incidents. Death of a Salesman has often been regarded as a closed drama, because it focuses on one crucial action, represented by Willy's disarray and resulting collapse. However, even though Death of a Salesman does not follow the conventional subdivisions of ancient drama, Miller took particular care over the implementation of the three theatrical rules, namely, the unity of action, place and time. However, it is astutely a play made up of interruptions, and paradoxically, the unremitting dramatic tension of Death of a Salesman could be regarded as one of its most outstanding characteristics: indeed, tragic density is to be noticeable from the very beginning of Act One to the Requiem which closes up the play.
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