Saturday, October 29, 2011

Death of a Salesman - Arthur Miller

Recipient of the 1949 Pulitzer Prize.

After 34 years on the road as a salesman, Willy Loman, broken and disillusioned by the futility of his dreams slowly realizes that the elusive "American Dream" will always be somewhere over another rainbow.
Rather than emulating a life of hard work and perseverance, Willy raises his sons to talk fast but only reluctantly to lift a finger in a hard days work. Always seeking the quickest road to success - both boys live at home, while the family scrapes by struggling to make ends meet.
After Willy realizes that Biff does not actually hate him for walking in on Willy during a liaison on the road - Willy elated, walks out of the house and kills himself.
"Nobody blames this man. You don't understand: Willy was a salesman, and for a salesman there is no rock bottom to life. He don't put a bolt to a nut, he don't tell you the law or give you medicine. He's a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine. And then you get a couple spots on your hat and you're finished. Nobody blames this man. A salesman is got to dream. It comes with the territory."

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Henry V - William Shakespeare

In this essay, I will examine the rhetorical and dramatic effectiveness of King Henry’s speech to the Governor of Harfluer in Act 3 Scene 4 ...