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2010 | 58 | 1 | 13-32

Article title

THE PORTRAITS OF LOSERS IN ARTHUR MILLER'S WORK (Portrety zufalych existencii v tvorbe Arthura Millera)


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The authoress perceives Arthur Miller's admission on the Czech and the Slovak stage-craft on the background of existential philosophy enhanced in the 1960s. Miller's most staged 'Death of a Salesman' (1949) and the least staged 'After the Fall' (1963), are understood to be a representative existential arch over Miller's dramatic creation. Miller's initial inspiration for the plays was derived from Jaspers, according to whom the self-creation of a Man explicates his/her existence in two ways: under extreme life circumstances (Man is confronted with himself/herself) and in communication with others. In the case of Loman, the central character of the 'Death of a Salesman', Man's existence is materialized directly, under extreme life circumstances. Here the vital code is Man's failure. However, only in a true failure, Man will experience his/her existence, thus consuming his/her option of existence. In the case of Quentin, the main protagonist of 'After the Fall', Man's existence is materialized through communication, in contact with others (mother, father, wife Louise, wife Maggie, incidental female acquaintances Felice and Holga, colleagues from his law firm). 'Progressively minded' American dramatist Arthur Miller, as referred to by socialist theatre dramaturgy, was smoothly introduced to Slovak and Czech theatrical scenes. His 'Death of a Salesman' was constantly given green light, however, his 'After the Fall', which was ideologically less usable, was staged only twice in the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava and once by the National Theatre in Prague. Both productions were taking place in a decade of 'political thaw'. Repeatedly, the 'Death of a Salesman' was a source of blunt criticism of a socially unfair capitalist society. The authoress concludes her paper by an overview of the staging of the plays by Slovak and Czech theatres.








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  • Lubica Krenova, Filozoficka fakulta, Univerzita Karlova v Praze, nam. Jana Palacha 2, 116 38 Praha, Czech Republic


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