Arthur Miller Biography: Crucible, Plays & Marilyn Monroe

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The legendary Arthur Miller b.1915 has inspired and touched many with his famous writing pieces such as The Crucible (1953). Before venturing into the playwright profession, Miller majored in journalism in the University of Michigan in 1938, showing skills as a reporter and night editor for his school newspaper. Although Miller is mostly associated with the writing of plays, he has also written novels such as Focus (1945) and Misfits (1961). As he became a rising playwright, he decided to write an autobiography titled Timebends: A Life in 1987. Miller’s first taste of success came from All My Sons in 1947, winning him the New York Drama Critics Circle award.

However, another brilliant piece of his, Death of a Salesman, raised controversial issues1 as to why the main character was merely just an ordinary man. Miller strongly stood firm to his view of tragedy, stating that emotion can be drawn from the audience through any character regardless of status if they are willing to die for a just cause. Death of a Salesman earned him the Pulitzer Prize in 1949, proving him to be once again, one of the greatest writers in America. Miller continuously emphasized themes dealing with morality, teaching his readers life lessons.

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Many of his plays also had to deal with family values and issues which many could relate to. Miller himself had been engaged in three different marriages and has four children. Arthur Miller believed that “by whatever means it is accomplished, the prime business of a play is to arouse the passions of its audience,” which is precisely what he has done throughout his life.

Interesting Facts

  • Miller’s second marriage was to Marilyn Monroe from 29 June 1956 – 20 January 1961
  • Miller was exempted from military service during World War II because of a football injury
  • Miller’s second wife, Inge Morath gave birth to a son, Daniel, with Down Syndrome.
  • Miller sent Daniel into an institution and refused to pay any visits.
  • Is of Polish-Jewish ancestry
  • Miller was invited into China after the revolution to direct a play. He chose to bring in Death of a Salesman.Awards
  • New York Drama Critics Circle award – All My Sons (1947)
  • New York City’s Theatre Guild prize The Man Who Had All the Luck (1944)
  • New York Drama Critics Circle Award, the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize – Death of a Salesman (1949)
  • Tony Award – The Crucible (1953)
  • Principe de Asturias prize – awarded for his writing career (May 8 2002)1 “Arthur Miller”.


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Arthur Miller Biography: Crucible, Plays & Marilyn Monroe. (2017, Dec 22). Retrieved from

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