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After the Fall: A Play in Two Acts (Penguin…

After the Fall: A Play in Two Acts (Penguin Plays) (original 1964; edition 1980)

by Arthur Miller

Series: Bantam Drama

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480532,899 (3.65)15
Title:After the Fall: A Play in Two Acts (Penguin Plays)
Authors:Arthur Miller
Info:Penguin Books (1980), Edition: Revised, Paperback, 128 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Plays, Signed

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After the Fall by Arthur Miller (1964)


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Showing 5 of 5
  kutheatre | Jun 7, 2015 |
Quentin, a lawyer, reflects on his two marriages and his current relationship through a running inner monologue throughout the play. It’s a painfully biographical piece, one that mirrors the playwright’s own life. It chronicles the main character's life as her falls in love with a young woman, his marriage ends, and he gets remarried to the young woman who has now become an international star and sex symbol.

The second wife, Maggie, is incredibly troubled, insecure, and jealous. She has a drinking and drug problem and is an obvious parallel for Marilyn Monroe. Their relationship is doomed from the start. They are unhappy together because they can't trust each other.

BOTTOM LINE: The play is so heartbreakingly raw and intimate. Miller was working through his own marriage in this play, and that truthfulness adds a layer of depth that fiction often can’t reach. Not an easy play to read, but very real look at the ways we can harm the people we love the most.

“I saw clearly only when I saw with love. Or can one ever remember love? It's like trying to summon up the smell of roses in a cellar. You might see a rose, but never the perfume. And that's the truth of roses, isn't it? — The perfume?” ( )
  bookworm12 | Nov 26, 2014 |
So, Maggie wasn't based on Marilyn Monroe, huh, Arthur? Liar! I didn't like this one at first ... the disjointed flash-back type play never held as much charm for me as a real-story type play. But it grew on me. Miller's writing truly approaches genius. There is something truly theatrical without being pretentious. Apparently, most playwrights can't pull this off, at least the ones I've read. This play follows a middle-aged man as he explores the failure of his personal relationships and his fear of intimacy ... at least that's my take. ( )
  AliceAnna | Sep 9, 2014 |
Quentin is a lawyer at a big firm. He has friends, a wife, daughter and a Communist past he is still trying to come to terms with. He constantly flashbacks to his childhood to hear his parents bickering and flashes forward to listen to his current lover discuss her fear of Nazis. In between we see Quentin's first marriage end, the disintegration of his second marriage to a famous singer, and the fear he and his friends feel when the firm demands that someone names the former Communists among them.
When I began reading this I was aware that Miller had caught a tremendous amount of heat for this play. I can see why. It is self-serving and egotistical in monumental proportions. He might as well have gone ahead and given the characters their real names: Quentin is Miller whining endlessly about truth, Maggie is Marilyn Monroe as the "quite stupid, silly kid." And the later lover, calm Holga, is Miller's then wife, Ingeborg Morath, the only female in the play that Miller doesn't portray as impossible to please. If Miller had simply written a play that had a little bit in common with his own life it wouldn't have mattered, but that he chose to write so transparently about his marriage, break-up and death of Marilyn so immediately after her death comes off as exploitation. ( )
1 vote mstrust | Apr 12, 2010 |
after learning more about Miller's life, the book became more interesting to me. He writes beautifully, and this book contains some of my favorite sayings.
  d.sandoval2 | Feb 9, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140481621, Paperback)

Often called the most autobiographical of Arthur Miller's plays, After the Fall probes deeply into the psyche of Quentin, a man who ruthlessly revisits his past to explain the catastrophe that is his life. His journey backward takes him through a troubled upbringing, the bitter death of his mother, and a series of failed relationships.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:18 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A man attempts to make peace with his past in order to move forward in his life. Haunted by his relationship with a needy sex symbol, Quentin's remarks to an unseen listener sparks a relentless exploration of the past motives and compromises that still shape his present.

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