Miller & Ibsen., the elements of the theatres..Do you think that Miller adopted some of Ibsen's theatre in his play, Death of a Salesman?

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Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

By "Ibsen's theater," do you mean the content of Ibsen's plays or the manner in which they were staged? In terms of content, conflicts, themes, etc., there really is nothing new under the sun because human nature has never changed. There are supposedly ten basic stories in fiction, and every work represents a variation of one of them. I have never linked Miller to Ibsen (which means nothing!), but Miller's plays are such a reflection of American life and culture, so deeply rooted in the American experience, that any foreign influence does not seem to have played a major role in what he had to say. In terms of how Death of a Salesman is staged, with its emphasis on a limited set and use of lighting to focus on the drama and its atmosphere, it reminds me of Our Town, The Glass Menagerie, and some of Eugene O'Neill's plays.

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I wouldn't doubt it.  Think about it--Miller probably read many plays, books, stories before, during, and after writing his own plays.  There are very few original ideas out there...even Shakespeare borrowed ideas for his plays from other works published in Italian, French, etc.  Why should Miller be any different? 

Sometimes, when a person is as well read as most authors are, it is even difficult to pinpoint where an idea came from.  It may even be as small as a song or a commercial...however, you must realize that every idea that comes to you is sparked by some other idea...you may not even be aware of the series of events or the catalyst that brought you your "Eureka!"

epollock | Student

I have the feeling that he did really adopt them, but in a way, made them his own. It is not uncommon to do that.  That doesn't mean that The Crucible is not any less of a play if he took ideas from Hawthorne or any other writer.

doody | Student

I wouldn't doubt it.  Think about it--Miller probably read many plays, books, stories before, during, and after writing his own plays.  There are very few original ideas out there...even Shakespeare borrowed ideas for his plays from other works published in Italian, French, etc.  Why should Miller be any different? 

Sometimes, when a person is as well read as most authors are, it is even difficult to pinpoint where an idea came from.  It may even be as small as a song or a commercial...however, you must realize that every idea that comes to you is sparked by some other idea...you may not even be aware of the series of events or the catalyst that brought you your "Eureka!"

 

I agree with you, but could you please give me an examples of the different ideas Miller & Ibsen share in it.

 

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Death of a Salesman

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