The same fate befell the then thirty seven years old Arthur Miller who was condemned for disrespect & disapproval of the United States Congress for being unsuccessful in naming numerous individuals who had attended meetings with him. In a bid to not only secure his career as a journalist & play writer and also to alert the American people against the government misinformation & propaganda that were headed their way, Miller started to ink The Crucible . Using the ‘Salem Witch Trials’ of the early 1690s as a precinct, Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible . The characters in the play are faced with the same tragedies & sentences that befell people during the McCarthyism trials; he uses the ‘Salem Witch Trials’ as a metaphor to draw national attention towards the doings and executioners of the McCarthyism propaganda.
Death of a Salesman premiered on Broadway in 1949, starring Lee J. Cobb as Willy Loman and directed by Elia Kazan (who would later inform on Arthur Miller in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee). The play was a resounding success, winning the Pulitzer Prize, as well as the Tony Award for Best Play. The New Yorker called the play a mixture of "compassion, imagination, and hard technical competence not often found in our theater." Since then, the play has been revived numerous times on Broadway and reinterpreted in stage and television versions. As an archetypal character representing the failed American dream, Willy Loman has been interpreted by diverse actors such as Fredric March (the 1951 film version), Dustin Hoffman (the 1984 Broadway revival and television movie), and, in a Tony Award-winning revival, Brian Dennehy.
Arthur Miller (1915-2005) was born in New York City and studied at the University of Michigan. His plays include The Man Who Had All the Luck (1944) , All My Sons (1947), Death of a Salesman (1949), The Crucible (1953), A View from the Bridge and A Memory of Two Mondays (1955), After the Fall (1964), Incident at Vichy (1964), The Price (1968), The Creation of the World and Other Business (1972), The Archbishop’s Ceiling (1977), The American Clock (1980) and Playing for Time . Later plays include The Ride Down Mt. Morgan (1991), The Last Yankee (1993), Broken Glass (1994), Mr. Peters’ Connections (1998), Resurrection Blues (2002), and Finishing the Picture (2004). Other works include Situation Normal , reportage (1944), Focus, a novel (1945), The Misfits , first published as a short story (1957), a screenplay (1960) and then as cinema novel (1961), and the texts for In Russia (1969), In the Country (1977), and Chinese Encounters (1979), three books in collaboration with his wife, photographer Inge Morath. Memoirs include Salesman in Beijing (1984), and Timebends, an autobiography (1987). Short fiction includes the collection I Don’t Need You Any More (1967), the novella, Homely Girl, a Life (1995) and Presence: Stories (2007). Essay collections published in his lifetime include The Theater Essays of Arthur Miller (1978, 1996) and Echoes Down the Corridor: Collected Essays 1944 – 2000, as well as individually published volumes ‘ The Crucible’ in History (2000) and On Politics and the Art of Acting (2001). He was awarded the Avery Hopwood Award for Playwriting at University of Michigan in 1936. He twice won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, received two Emmy awards and three Tony Awards for his plays, as well as a Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement. He also won an Obie award, a BBC Best Play Award, the George Foster Peabody Award, a Gold Medal for Drama from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the Literary Lion Award from the New York Public Library, the John F. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Algur Meadows Award. He was named Jefferson Lecturer for the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2001. He was awarded the 2002 Prince of Asturias Award for Letters and the 2003 Jerusalem Prize. He received honorary degrees from Oxford University and Harvard University and was awarded the Prix Moliere of the French theatre, the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Lifetime Achievement Award and the Pulitzer Prize.