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Analysis of the Dialogue Taking Place in the Requiem for Death of a Salesman (Essay Sample)


In the discussion forum for this module, you were asked to analyze the dialogue taking place in the Requiem for Death of a Salesman, and you were asked to discuss specifically Biff’s statement about his father, Willie Loman, that Willie “had the wrong dreams” and/or “didn’t know who he was.”
As noted in the “Module Notes,” looking up the definition for “Requiem,” you find it typically is a musical service for the repose of the dead. And as discussed previously, a funeral service usually involves celebrating the life of the deceased. Now as we close our study on Miller’s Death of a Salesman, you are asked to examine why Arthur Miller would pay tribute to the death of Willy Loman (“ low man”).
As we have witnessed in the play, Willy’s character and that of his sons are deeply flawed; however, as we previously have discussed, most humans also are flawed in some way. As a matter of fact, in the previous module, you were asked to discuss how you might relate to some degree with Willy Loman or with one of the other characters in Miller’s play. Now that we have come to the end of the play, and to the end of this module and course, you are asked to take all that you have learned and apply it to a careful, thought-provoking examination of Willie Loman and/or his sons, applying character analysis to argue for a larger purpose or theme related to why the play still speaks to an audience, to you, across time.
As noted earlier in this module, in the final act of Death of a Salesman, while standing at the graveside of his father, Biff tells his brother, Happy, that Biff knows who he is. But does he? Does Happy? By claiming that, finally, Biff knows who he is, Biff sets himself apart from his dead father, Willy Loman, declaring that Willy “never knew who he was.”
Reflecting back on Willy’s actions and dialogue in the play, do you agree or disagree with Biff? Why? What two (2) quotes from Willy Loman’s dialogue in the previous two (2) acts supports your position?
How does Willy’s dilemma in the play relate to his sons?
How does Willy’s dilemma in the play, and Willy’s relationship with his sons, particularly with Biff, relate to a larger theme in the play?
What two (2) quotes from Biff or Happy illustrate a similarity or difference between father and son?
Why is the idea of self-knowledge so important to the play’s conclusion? How might the struggle of the play’s characters with self-knowledge relate to you, to an audience?
In an essay of no fewer than 500 words, supported by no fewer than two (2) quotes each from two (2) different characters, totaling no fewer than four (4) quotes from character dialogue, analyze how the character of Willy Loman and/or that of his sons illustrates a larger theme of the play, explaining how or why that theme remains relevant to audiences today.
For your essay, you will apply the Guidelines for Writing a Character Analysis Essay. First read through the guidelines.
Next in preparation for writing, you will outline your essay by completing this Character Analysis chart.
Remember to use quotation marks if quoting other learners and or critics and to cite in APA style quoted or paraphrased material.


Analysis of the Dialogue Taking Place in the Requiem for Death of a Salesman
A Character Analysis of Mr. Biff in “Death of a Salesman”
The funeral of Willy Loman in the play “Death of a salesman” is a cruel and a pathetic end to the life of the salesman. It was a shocking observation that the funeral was only attended by his family and Charley while his other friends, colleagues or customers never bothered to attend the funeral as a gesture of paying their respects. In contrast, the funeral is developed chiefly on status of Willy as a salesman: it is assumed that the character of a salesman dictated Willy’s course of action. It is assumed that the character of a salesman is that of a dreamer who is full of hopes for future sales. Biff and Happy interpret their father’s suicide in terms of the business dream: Happy expresses his desire to remain in the city and succeed where Willy failed but Biff expresses his disapproval over the business ethos that lead to his father’s down fall and plans to leave the city (Miller, 1949). I agree with Biff that unlike other characters in the play he seems to understand himself much better.
A Character Analysis of Mr. Biff in “Death of a Salesman”
Bill is the eldest son in Willy’s family and was once a high school football idol. In his mid-thirties Bill express a small measure of his youthful enthusiasm, confidence, and affection and in most cases seems to be frustrated, troubled and deeply sad with the tendency of escaping into dreams all times. This comes out clearly w...
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