Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" is actually one of my favorite plays. I read it last year just for shits and giggles in my AP English class. I am a big Miller fan in general. The first play that I auditioned for was "The Crucible" at the local University where I live. It was an exilirating experience and for this reason my love for the theatre blossomed. I also think this encounter with Miller's work made me want to read more of what he had written. Most of Miller's plays tend to have a lot of social commentary in them. Miller himself was not an idealist, though many of the characters in his plays are; for example Willy in "Death of a Salesman."
One of the reasons that I love reading "DOS" is because of Miller's very detailed stage directions. They add a whole other element to the play because when you are reading them they act as a referrence to subtle little things that apply to the current scene. Unlike in Shakespeare's plays, (ex: Tempest), Miller uses these stage directions frequently. (but not without purpose) I first began to think about this when reading Vanessa's Blog entry about the play. These detailed stage directions not only help the reader but also the actor performing the play.
One thing that I really love about reading plays is that there is so much dialogue, in fact all dialogue and a few descriptive passages. I hate reading novels mostly for the reason that they tend to dwell on detail rather than human interaction. "DOS" manages to find a perfect medium between the two elements of literature; description and dialogue. The main theme of the play has to deal with personal satisfaction in a quest to achieve what is known by society as the "American Dream." In the case of Willy and his family this dream is defined 2 ways and is not achieved by the root of either definition.