Talking to Ghosts
Kind of Activity:
Examining a theatrical technique and identifying its use in other media
Lead a discussion examining how Miller uses the ghost of Ben. How does he function differently from other characters in the past? What do the conversations with Ben tell us about Willy's mental health?
A common dramatic theme is to use a ghost to signify mental troubles or breakdown. Think, for example, of Banquo's ghost in Macbeth. One starting aspect of the current play is the ease with which a ghost like Ben enters and leaves the scene, just as he seamlessly enters and leaves Willy's mind.
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