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What have critics said about Arthur Millers importance in modern drama?What have...

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umlovely | Student | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted February 20, 2009 at 3:53 PM via web

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What have critics said about Arthur Millers importance in modern drama?

What have critics said about Arthur Millers importance in modern drama?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 3, 2009 at 3:01 PM (Answer #2)

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Arthur Miller's importance on modern drama extended to beyond art and into social notions of the good.  The fact that Miller rose to prominence in post WWII America should not be lost on anyone.  At this time, modern drama was seeking to identify its voice, as was American society.  Miller's works gave voice to both.  Whether it was his critique of the American dream in Death of a Salesman or his criticism of American paranoia in The Crucible, Miller espoused American freedom.  His works gave the stage a voice and allowed American modern drama to serve as the voice of reason and fairness when the pendulum of American society tilted against such noble truths.  For example, when American artists felt that in order to practice their profession they had to become informants for the government and identify people who they suspected as Communists for the House Unamerican Activities Committee, Miller was the voice of protest.  When Miller refused to "name names" and stood up to the bullying approach of the committee, he became a beacon for artistic freedom and the liberal values that helped to enliven the great sensibilities of a democracy.  Modern American dramatists did not miss the fact that it was one of their own who stood up to the forces of American repression.  Miller's voice gave credence to American drama and this element was present in his work.  When he died, American drama dimmed the lights because it had lost a great advocate in Arthur Miller.

 

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