Quotes by Arthur Miller

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Arthur Asher Miller (October 17, 1915 February 10, 2005) was an American playwright, essayist and author. He was a prominent figure in American literature and cinema for over 61 years, writing a wide variety of plays. Miller's best-known works were The Crucible and Death of a Salesman, which are still widely studied and performed. He was also known for his short-lived marriage to Marilyn Monroe (1956-1961), who converted to Judaism for him.

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Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.

Without alienation, there can be no politics.
Look, we're all the same; a man is a fourteen-room house --in the bedroom he's asleep with his intelligent wife, in the living-room he's rolling around with some bareass girl, in the library he's paying his taxes, in the yard he's raising tomatoes, and in the cellar he's making a bomb to blow it all up.
The closer a man approaches tragedy the more intense is his concentration of emotion upon the fixed point of his commitment, which is to say the closer he approaches what in life we call fanaticism.
A good newspaper is a nation talking to itself.
Nobody dast blame this man. For a salesman, there is no rock bottom to the life. He don't put a bolt to a nut, he don't tell you the law or give you medicine. He's a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back -- that's an earthquake. And then you get yourself a couple of spots on your hat, and you're finished. Nobody dast blame this man. A salesman is got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory.
I love her too, but our neuroses just don't match.
A playwright is the litmus paper of the arts. He's got to be, because if he isn't working on the same wave length as the audience, no one would know what in hell he was talking about. He is a kind of psychic journalist, even when he's great.
By whatever means it is accomplished, the prime business of a play is to arouse the passions of its audience so that by the route of passion may be opened up new relationships between a man and men, and between men and Man. Drama is akin to the other inventions of man in that it ought to help us to know more, and not merely to spend our feelings.
In the theater, while you recognized that you were looking at a house, it was a house in quotation marks. On screen, the quotation marks tend to be blotted out by the camera.
That is a very good question. I don't know the answer. But can you tell me the name of a classical Greek shoemaker?
If I have any justification for having lived it's simply, I'm nothing but faults, failures and so on, but I have tried to make a good pair of shoes. There's some value in that.
He's not the finest character that ever lived. But he's a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid.
I'm the end of the line; absurd and appalling as it may seem, serious New York theater has died in my lifetime.
My conception of the audience is of a public each member of which is carrying about with him what he thinks is an anxiety, or a hope, or a preoccupation which is his alone and isolates him from mankind; and in this respect at least the function of a play is to reveal him to himself so that he may touch others by virtue of the revelation of his mutuality with them. If only for this reason I regard the theater as a serious business, one that makes or should make man more human, which is to say, less alone.
Never fight fair with a stranger, boy. You’ll never get out of the jungle that way.
I realized that selling was the greatest career a man could want. ’Cause what could be more satisfying than to be able to go, at the age of eighty-four, into twenty or thirty different cities, and pick up a phone, and be remembered and loved and helped by so many different people?
Work a lifetime to pay off a house—You finally own it and there’s nobody to live in it.
A child’s spirit is like a child, you cannot catch it by running after it; you must stand still, and, for love, it will soon itself come back.
Willy: To weather a twenty-five-year mortgage is--Linda: It's an accomplishment.
For a salesman, there is no rock bottom to life. He don’t put a bolt to a nut, he don’t tell you the law or give you medicine. He’s a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine …. A salesman is got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory.
I spent six or seven years after high school trying to work myself up. Shipping clerk, salesman, business of one kind or another. And it's a measly manner of existence. To get on that subway on the hot mornings in summer. To devote your whole life to keeping stock, or making phone calls, or selling or buying. To suffer fifty weeks of the year for the sake of a two-week vacation, when all you really desire is to be outdoors, with your shirt off. And always to have to get ahead of the next fella. And still--that's how you build a future.
Walk in very serious. You are not applying for a boy's job. Money is to pass. Be quiet, fine, and serious. Everybody likes a kidder, but nobody lends him money. . . . Walk in with a big laugh. Don't look worried. Start off with a couple of your good stories to lighten things up. It's not what you say, it's how you say it--because personality always wins the day.

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