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18. Requiem – “We’re free and clear”
About this Lecture
In this module, we read through the Requiem that ends the play, focusing in particular on: (i) the contrast between Willy’s funeral, which no-one attends, and Dave Singleman’s, described by Willy to Howard earlier in the play; (ii) the idea that each of the Loman men in the play could (and perhaps should) have been something else; (iii) the necessity of dreams and aspirations; (iv) Linda’s final speech (“We’re free and clear… we’re free… we’re free”, p. 112); and (v) the final sound in the play – “Only the music of the flute is left”, p. 112).
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 - Requiem – “We’re free and clear” [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/miller-death-of-a-salesman-mcrae/requiem-we-re-free-and-clear
McRae, J. "Miller: Death of a Salesman – Requiem – “We’re free and clear”." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 22 Jan 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/miller-death-of-a-salesman-mcrae/requiem-we-re-free-and-clear