Teacher Guide

Death of a Salesman Lesson Plan

Introduction to Death of a Salesman

Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman stems from Arthur Miller's personal experiences, his reflections on American society, the theatrical traditions in which the playwright was schooled, and Miller's own creativity. The play recalls traditions of Yiddish theater that focus on family as the crucial element, reducing most of the plot to the confines of the nuclear family. Death of a Salesman focuses on a father whose two sons are estranged from him, paralleling one of Miller's other major works, All My Sons, which premiered two years earlier.

Death of a Salesman premiered on Broadway in 1949, starring Lee J. Cobb as Willy Loman. It was directed by Elia Kazan, who later would...

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