Study Guide

Arthur Miller Quotes

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"Like a young god. Hercules—something like that. And the sun, the sun all around him. Remember how he waved to me? Right up from the field with the representatives of three colleges standing by? And the buyers I brought, and the cheers when he came out—Loman, Loman, Loman! God Almighty, he'll be great yet. A star like that, magnificent, can never really fade away."

Willy Loman, in Death of a Salesman

"You must understand, sir, a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between. This is a sharp time, now, a precise time - we live no longer in the dusky afternoon when evil mixed itself with good and befuddled the world. Now, by God's grace, the shining sun is up, and them that fear not light will surely praise it. I hope you will be one of those."

Judge Danforth, in The Crucible

"I was very moved by that play [The Crucible] once again when the Royal Shakespeare Company did a production that toured the cathedrals of England. Then they took it to Poland and performed it in the cathedrals there, too. The actors said it changed their lives. Officials wept; they were speechless after the play, and everyone knew why. It was because they had to enforce the kind of repression the play was attacking. That made me prouder than anything I ever did in my life. The mission of the theater, after all, is to change, to raise the consciousness of people to their human possibilities."

Arthur Miller

"It does seem to me that while films and television are trying to grapple with the great themes that affect us all, the theater - or the Broadway pocket of it - has, with extremely few exceptions, just about succumbed to glorious, glamorous show business. We never did have, at least on Broadway, a whole lot of acerbic social commentary, but there was sometimes a steady trickle, which seems now to have dried up. I can't think of when the narrow-minded, the prejudiced, the stupid, the reactionary could have been outraged by something on the Broadway stage."

Arthur Miller, in the 2003 New York Times essay "Looking for a Conscience"

"Is it not time to take a long look at ourselves, at the way we live and the way we think, and to face the fact that the violence in our streets is the violence in our hearts, that with all our accomplishments, our spires and mines and clean, glistening packages, our charities and gods, we are what were—a people of violence? A country where people cannot walk safely in their own streets has not earned the right to tell any other people how to govern itself, let alone to bomb and burn that people."

Arthur Miller, in the 1968 New York Times essay "On the Shooting of Robert Kennedy"

"In [Arthur Miller's] work, there is almost a conscious need to be a light unto the world. … He spent his life seeking answers to what he saw around him as a world of injustice."

Robert Whitehead

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