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19. Conclusion – “A salesman is got to dream, boy”
About this Lecture
In this final module, we offer some closing thoughts on the play as a whole, focusing in particular on: (i) what kind of tragedy this is; (ii) the idea of the American Dream; (iii) the circularity of the play – starting and ending with a car-crash, with flute music, etc.; and (iv) what it means to be ‘free’.
In this nineteen-part course, Professor John McRae (University of Nottingham) explores Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. We begin with a broad introduction to the historical, literary and cultural context, before going through the play scene-by-scene, providing close reading and detailed analysis, with commentary on character, plot, themes and motifs, language, symbolism, and more.
Note: Page numbers are based on the Penguin edition of the play (1998, ed. Christopher Bigsby). Students using a different version of the play may encounter slight differences in both text and page numbers.
John McRae is Special Professor of Language in Literature Studies and Teaching Associate in the School of English at Nottingham University, and holds Visiting Professorships in China, Malaysia, Spain and the USA. He is co-author of The Routledge History of Literature in English with Ron Carter, and also wrote The Language of Poetry, Literature with a Small 'l' and the first critical edition of Teleny by Oscar Wilde and others.
Cite this Lecture
McRae, J. (2021, January 22). Miller: Death of a Salesman - Conclusion – “A salesman is got to dream, boy” [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/miller-death-of-a-salesman-mcrae/conclusion-a-salesman-is-got-to-dream-boy
McRae, J. "Miller: Death of a Salesman – Conclusion – “A salesman is got to dream, boy”." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 22 Jan 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/miller-death-of-a-salesman-mcrae/conclusion-a-salesman-is-got-to-dream-boy