Critical Insights: Arthur Miller

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Among the twentieth century's greatest playwrights, Arthur Miller is recognized today as a formative influence on modern American drama. His best plays seamlessly combine the psychological and the social to produce riveting treatments of the fraught relationship between the individual and society. Never satisfied with American realism, he experimented widely throughout his career, drawing on aesthetics as wide-ranging as classical Greek drama, Henrik Ibsen's realism, and Bertolt Brecht's symbolism and expressionism. Like his plays, he maintained a strong sense of political and social responsibility, serving as the president of PEN International and advocating on behalf of artists everywhere for freedom of expression. When he died in 2006, Broadway theaters darkened their lights in respect for this playwright who forever changed American theater.

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