Arthur Miller

Arthur Asher Miller ( born October 17, 1915 in New York City; † 10 February 2005 in Roxbury, Connecticut ) was an American writer. Arthur Miller is considered an important social criticism playwrights of modern times. His social and contemporary critical dramas turn against the so-called American way of life, in which professional success is the focus. Again and again, Miller the ethical obligation of the individual in the foreground.


Miller was born in 1915 as a Jewish family in New York. Following the bankruptcy of parental Tailoring in 1929, the Polish immigrant family of Isadore and Augusta Miller moved to Brooklyn with their other children Kermit and Joan. After his high school graduation Miller worked in various jobs until his admission to the University of Michigan in 1934., Where he had initially enrolled in journalism, but switched in 1936 to the main compartment English Studies. Trigger for change was winning the Avery Hopwood Award in Drama for his play No Villain. After this success, several pieces of Miller in Ann Arbor and Detroit were performed until his Graduation in 1938.

Miller was awarded in 1949 as just 33 -year-old author for his play Death of a Salesman ( Death of a Salesman ) of the Pulitzer Prize. The allusions to Joseph McCarthy and his witch-hunt in the drama The Crucible Miller brought difficulties: He did not get a pass for the premiere of the piece in Belgium, they disabled his film project on juvenile offenders in New York. Miller also refused to name 1956 name him known Communists before a committee of inquiry in June and was therefore sentenced in 1957 to imprisonment, a fine and to pass withdrawal. The verdict against him was annulled in 1958. Miller was a member of the USA ( CPUSA ) Communist Party.

Miller was the first of his three marriages in 1940 with Mary Grace Slattery one with which he had one daughter Jane Ellen (* 1944) and a son, Robert A. ( b. 1947 ) had. After he had come to know about director Elia Kazan Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe, the marriage went with Slattery on the rocks. 1956 Miller married Monroe; the marriage lasted five years, until they were divorced in January 1961 by mutual agreement due to numerous marital disputes and Monroe 's failed fertility. By this marriage the intellectuals became a target of the tabloids. For his wife he edited a short story into a screenplay with her in one of the lead roles under the title Misfits - The Misfits was filmed by John Huston.

From 1962 until her death in 2002 Miller was married to the Austrian photographer Inge Morath. From this marriage the children Rebecca (* 1962 ) and Daniel Miller originate (* 1966). Only in 2007 it was announced that Miller had kept the existence of his living in a home son with Down syndrome secret from the public.

Last Miller had repeatedly taken a stand against the U.S. policy of George W. Bush. He also pleaded several times to atheism, last in the series The Atheist Tapes with Jonathan Miller ( no relatives ). Miller's works are influenced by this belief. 2003 Miller was awarded the Jerusalem Prize for the Freedom of the individual in society.

Miller died on the evening of 10 February 2005 at the age of 89 in Roxbury in the U.S. state of Connecticut informal reportedly of heart failure. According to media reports he was suffering from cancer and recently also, among others, of pneumonia.

His works and the policy

Its importance is evidenced by its most successful and Pulitzer Prize - winning play Death of a Salesman ( Death of a Salesman, 1949), in which he precisely the dream world of the protagonist Willy Loman analyzed and debunked. Those dream world can be interpreted as a reflection of contemporary American society, which exists both in the stage presentation as well as in reality no longer along the ideals (American Dream), but is only maintained as a begriffenes the collapse remnant of desired states.

His plays are performed and celebrated again and again until today. Death of a Salesman has lost nothing of its relevance. The work, the Tony Award won both the Pulitzer Prize in 1949, one of the most sought after U.S. stage prices, 1999 was again awarded this prize, this time for Best Revival in a Broadway season. Miller's drama about the decline of the ideals of American society was filmed in 1985 and directed by Volker Schlöndorff. As a performer of Willy Loman Dustin Hoffman stepped on, his oldest son Biff was played by John Malkovich.

Arthur Miller gave his works also parallels to contemporary political developments. His play The Crucible (German witch hunt ), which is based on true events, the events in Salem in 1692 are again. The development towards crime is characterized by a kind of smear campaign, which is being driven by personal interests and intrigues massenhysterische processes to the disaster. Prior to the renowned U.S. film The Crucible by Nicholas Hytner with Daniel Day- Lewis and Winona Ryder from 1996, the drama was in 1957 filmed as a cooperation of French and East German (GDR) filmmaker, directed by Raymond Rouleau with Simone Signoret and Yves Montand and under the name of the Witches of Salem, in West Germany in 1958 under the title the Crucible, brought out.

Works (selection)

  • The grass grows silent. Comedy. In 1938.
  • Focus, 1945 (Eng. translator's: Doris Brehm: Focus novel Zurich, Universe Publishing, 1950 / rororo Paperback 1955.. ).
  • All my sons (Eng. All My Sons ). Drama. In 1947.
  • Death of a Salesman ( German translator's Katrin Janecke The Death of a Salesman: Two acts and a requiem Frankfurt am Main, S. Fischer 1950). Drama. In 1949. ( Pulitzer Prize for Drama )
  • The Crucible (German witch hunt, literally the ordeal or the melting pot ). Drama. In 1953.
  • A view from the bridge (Eng. view from the bridge ). Drama. In 1955.
  • A memory of two Mondays (Eng. memory of two mounting). In 1955.
  • Misfits (Eng. The Misfits ). Screenplay. In 1961.
  • After the Fall (English After the Fall ). Drama. In 1964.
  • Incident of Vichy (German Incident at Vichy ). Into German by Hans Sahl Frankfurt 1965.
  • The price (Eng. The Price ). Drama. In 1968.
  • The Archbishop's Ceiling. In 1977.
  • Playing for time ( dt game time). Screenplay. In 1980.
  • The Great Depression. Drama. In 1980.
  • Clar. Drama. 1986
  • Broken glass. In German: shards. 1994
  • The Misfits. Novella translated by Hugo Seinfeld. Rowohlt, Reinbek b. Hamburg 1961
  • Focal point. Novel translated by Doris Brehm. Bertelsmann, Gütersloh 1962
  • In Russia (Eng. In Russia ) with Inge Morath ( photos). 1969
  • Timebends (German time curves). Autobiography. In 1987.
  • Reverberation time. Essays., 2003.



Miller also appears in the documentary The Atheism Tapes ( 2004) by Jonathan Miller. The Atheism Tapes includes interviews with six eminent personalities from the field of philosophy and science. Miller expresses itself in a half-hour interview on the subject of religion and atheism.

Pictures of Arthur Miller