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Critical Context

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 100

Death of a Salesman remains one of the most widely produced and widely anthologized plays in American literature, embodying many of the characteristics of classical tragedy while also updating the form through its concern with common people. Certain critics view the play as too traditional, both in its stagecraft and its moralism, ignoring as it does the more obscure techniques of absurdist or surrealist theater. Nevertheless, its enduring popularity suggests that Arthur Miller hit on themes that continue to enthrall Americans in their two-edged pursuit of happiness, finding it through money on the one hand and integrity on the other.

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