Biographical Sketch of Arthur Miller
Arthur Miller was an American dramatist known for his caustic criticism of social ills. Death of a Salesman is his most well-known work. He was born in Harlem, New York in 1915 and attended the University of Michigan before returning to the east coast to develop theatre productions. Death of a Salesman, which opened on Broadway in 1949, was his first critical and popular hit. His very colourful public life was shaped in part by his tumultuous marriage to Marilyn Monroe and his steadfast refusal to participate with the House of Un-American Activities Committee. He married three times and died in 2005 when he was 89 years old.
Arthur Miller was raised in a middle-class family until his family lost nearly everything in the 1929 Wall Street Crash. They later fired the chauffeur and relocated from Manhattan’s Upper East Side to Gravesend, Brooklyn. Miller performed various jobs after graduating from high school to accumulate enough money to attend the University of Michigan. He wrote for the student newspaper and completed his first play, No Villain, while in college. He also studied with the renowned playwright professor Kenneth Rowe, who taught his students how to construct a play in such a way that it achieves the desired effect.
Miller returned to the east to begin his career after being inspired by Rowe’s attitude.
A Career in Playwriting
Things got off to a difficult start: his 1940 play, The Man Who Had All the Luck, was the polar opposite of its title, closing after only four performances and a slew of negative reviews. However, six years later, All My Sons attained Broadway triumph, earning him his first Tony Award (best author). Miller composed the first act of Death of Salesman in less than a day while working in the modest studio he built in Roxbury, Connecticut. It began operations on
It premiered on February 10, 1949, at the Morosco Theatre and was universally adored. Salesman earned him the theatrical artistry’s triple crown: the Pulitzer Prize, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, and a Tony Award.
Miller divorced his first wife, Mary Slattery, in 1956. He married legendary actress Marilyn Monroe shortly afterwards. Later that year, the House Committee on Un-American Activities refused to renew Miller’s passport and summoned him to appear before the committee—his play, The Crucible, a dramatisation of the 1692 Salem witch trials and an allegory of McCarthyism, was the primary reason for the committee’s strong-armed summons. Miller, on the other hand, refused to comply with the committee’s requests that anyone involved in particular political activities be “out”
Monroe featured in Miller’s 1961 picture The Misfits. Monroe and Miller divorced about the same time.
Miller married Austrian-born photographer Inge Morath within a few months. Rebecca and Daniel were the couple’s children. Miller insisted that their Down syndrome-affected kid, Daniel, be completely removed from the family’s private lives. Miller’s son-in-law, actor Daniel Day-Lewis, routinely paid visits to his wife’s brother and eventually convinced Miller to reconcile with his adult son.
Major Works of Arthur Miller
• All My Sons (1947)
• Death of a Salesman (1949)
• The Crucible (1953)
• A View from the Bridge (1955)
• After the Fall (1964)
• Broken Glass (1994)
• Resurrection Blues (2002)
• Finishing the Picture (2004)