Death of a Salesman (Queensland Theatre)

ABR Arts is generously supported by ABR Patrons and Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.
Bronwyn Lea Monday, 18 February 2019
Published in ABR Arts

Seventy years ago, on 10 February 1949, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman premièred on Broadway to rapturous acclaim. Miller’s intention in writing the play, he recalls in his autobiography, Timebends (1987), was not to put ‘a timebomb under capitalism’ – as one outraged woman accused on opening night – but rather to expose a ‘pseudo life that thought to touch the clouds by standing on top of a refrigerator, waving a paid-up mortgage at the moon’. It’s ironic that a country that did so much to articulate and sell the American Dream – perhaps best précised by Hap Loman as the fight to come out ‘number one man’ – should give birth to one of literature’s biggest losers. But after hundreds of productions of Death of a Salesman around the world, Miller’s anti-hero – ‘a joker, a bleeding mass of contradictions, a clown’ – has been found to be representative everywhere, in every system, of ourselves.

Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month.

We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Published in ABR Arts
Bronwyn Lea

Bronwyn Lea

Bronwyn Lea was born in Tasmania and grew up in Queensland and Papua New Guinea. She is the author of Flight Animals (UQP, 2001), winner of the Wesley Michel Wright Prize and the FAW Anne Elder Award, and The Other Way Out (Giramondo, 2008), which won the WA Premier’s Book Award for Poetry and the SA Premier’s John Bray Poetry Prize. Her most recent collection is The Deep North: Selected poems (George Braziller, 2013). She teaches creative writing at the University of Queensland and is poetry editor for Meanjin.

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.