We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Arthur Miller Trivia

Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge

According to Miller's autobiography, when the character of John Proctor was executed at one 1953 performance of The Crucible, the audience "stood up and remained silent for a couple of minutes, with heads bowed," for at that same moment Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were being electrocuted for espionage.13

Miller had serious beef with "The Lion King." The flamboyant Broadway adaptation of the animated Disney flick stood for everything the playwright believed was wrong with modern theater.14

In 1966, Miller's third wife Inge Morath gave birth to their son Daniel, who was born with Down Syndrome. The couple placed the boy in an institution. Miller never publicly acknowledged his disabled son (even in his autobiography), and Daniel was not present at any of Miller's memorial services.15

Miller fell out with his longtime friend Elia Kazan over their response to HUAC subpoenas (Kazan named names, Miller refused to do so). However, some speculate that the men's shared attraction to Marilyn Monroe also played a part in their split—Kazan introduced Miller to Monroe, whom he had previously dated.16

When Miller and Marilyn Monroe married in 1956, the acerbic writer Norman Mailer described their marriage as the joining of "the Great American Brain" and "the Great American Body."17

As president of the writers' rights-group PEN, Miller wrote a letter in 1966 pleading for clemency for Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka, who was facing execution. When General Yakuba Gowon got Miller's letter, he contacted him to ask "with some incredulity whether I was the writer who had been married to Marilyn Monroe," Miller recalled. When the playwright confirmed that the bombshell had indeed been his wife, Gowon ordered Soyinka released. Soyinka won the 1986 Nobel Prize for literature.18

Miller was elected to serve as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1968.19

When Vanessa Redgrave was cast as a Holocaust survivor in film Playing for Time, which Miller wrote, Jewish groups protested the decision because of her outspoken support of Palestinians. Miller refused to have her removed from the movie, saying, "To fire her now because of her political views would be blacklisting."20

Miller's daughter Rebecca is married to the actor Daniel Day-Lewis, who played the lead in the 1996 film version of The Crucible.21

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...