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Arthur Miller

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Arthur Asher Miller (October 17, 1915 – February 10, 2005) was an essayist, playwright and cult figure in the American theatre in the twentieth century born in Harlem in the New York City. All My Sons (1947), Death of a Salesman (1949), The Crucible (1953) and A View from the Bridge (1955 – which was later revised in 1956) are some of his most popular plays. Besides this, The Misfits (1961) was his most noted work; besides he wrote several screenplays. In the 20th century, Death of a Salesman alongside A Streetcar Named Desire and Long Day’s Journey into Night has been considered one of the strongest literary influences. For Drama, Arthur was awarded the Pulitzer Prize during his time. The Saint Louis University Library Associates awarded him the St. Louis Literary Award in 1980. In 2002 he received the Praemium Imperiale prize and the Prince of Asturias Award. In 2003 he was awarded the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Lifetime Achievement Award as well as the Jerusalem Prize.

Literary contribution : 50(6-10 titles and timelines)

Arthur Miller produced his first play, The Man Who Had All The Luck in 1942 and went on to win the Theatre Guild’s National Award. However with disastrous reviews, after four performances, the play closed. He won the Tony Award for Best Author for All My Sons, in 1947. It was in this year that he established his reputation as a playwright. In 1960 he wrote the screenplay for The Misfits, starring Marilyn Monroe and directed by John Huston.

Writing Style

Arthur Miller, an influential and important novelist and essayist, has experienced a lot of luck in his career in writing. His ingenious ability of controlling what the readers feel or picture has made him gain more fame. Through his ingenious writing he very effectively conveys the message that the inescapable problem of man is man himself. According to Miller, a man often has trouble while expressing his worries, feelings and thoughts and accordingly makes use of symbolism in his work.

Significant Themes

Arthur Miller was of the belief that delicate balance between society and individual, between collective and separated elements of life and between the singular polity and personality, should be central in his plays. Accordingly he synthesized diverse movements and dramatic styles in his social plays. More emphasis was laid on moral issues in the American society. Besides this he has questioned psychological behavioral causes in his plays. As far as familial relationships are concerned, he has penetrating insight. In his plays, he maintains that family and family relationships must immerse in social context. With the roller coaster of responsibility and guilt Arthur Miller has confronted a level of banality in his work.

Trivia

Arthur Miller married Mary Slattery, his first wife in 1940 and then left her to marry film star Marilyn Monroe in 1956. Arthur Miller received the Four Freedom Award for Freedom of Speech in 1993. He has been member of the American Theatre Hall of Fame and in 1979 was inducted in. His drafts, notes, letters and other documents are housed at the University of Texas at Austin at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Centre. Rebecca his daughter is married to actor Daniel Day-Lewis who in 1996, played the leading role, in the film version of The Crucible.

Carol Ann Duffy

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Personal profile

Carol Ann Duffy, born on December 23, 1955 to a Roman Catholic family in Glasgow, is a famous playwright and poet from Scotland. In May 2009 she was appointed Poet Laureate in Britain, besides which at Manchester Metropolitan University, she is Professor of Contemporary Poetry. In Scotland, she is the first woman and first openly LGBT to hold the position.

Literary contribution

Standing Female Nude in 1985, Selling Manhattan in 1987, Mean Time in 1993 and Rapture in 2005 are some of her winning collections. From 1988 to 1989 she worked for The Guardian as a poetry critic and was also an editor for the Ambit magazine. At Manchester Metropolitan University she was appointed as a Poetry lecturer in 1996.

Writing Style

Rich fantasy life of others and herself as well as everyday experiences are explored by Duffy in her work. Through language, memory and love, moments of consolation are discovered by her in dramatizing scenes from adult life, adolescence and childhood. Carol Ann Duffy uses simple words and language. By her own admission, while the words may be simple they are used in a complicated way.

The appearance of her poems is deceptively simply as she writes in a conversational everyday language. While exploring different identities and voices she used dramatic monologue and sonnet form, frequently. Dramatic scenes from her poetry idioms, adult life and childhood are used while creating dramatic scenes. For inspiration in writing, she uses fantasy and everyday experiences.

Significant themes

Issues like violence, gender and oppression are addressed in her poems in the most accessible language, due to which the poems have been popular in schools. She represents reality, gender issues, various forms of social inequality, oppression and alienation, contemporary culture and construction of self in her work.

Trivia

In 2009, Carol Ann Duffy became the first woman Poet Laureate in the United Kingdom. She succeeded Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion who had held the post from 1999 – 2009.  Besides getting a stipend of 5750 pounds annually, Duffy also gets a barrel of sherry equal to around 600 bottles, by a ‘Butt of Sack’ tradition. She had a relationship with Jackie Kay a former female Scottish poet from whom she has Ella, a daughter in 1995. According to reports by BBC, the father of Ella is Peter Benson, another writer.