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Theatrical Plays on DVD at the Leavey Library: Titles D

Titles D

Death of a Salesman
"Death of a Salesman 1949 play written by American playwright Arthur Miller. The play ran for 742 performances, winning both the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize for drama. Death of a Salesman made both Arthur Miller and the character Willy Loman household names. The play endeavors to raise a counterexample to Aristotle's characterization of tragedy as the downfall of a great man: though Loman certainly has Hamartia, a tragic flaw or error, his downfall is that of an ordinary man (a 'low man'.) Like Sophocles' Oedipus in Oedipus the King, Loman's flaw comes down to a lack of self-knowledge; unlike Oedipus, Loman's downfall threatens not the city but only a single household. In this sense, Miller's play represents a democratization of the ancient form of tragedy; the play's protagonist is himself obsessed with the question of greatness, and his downfall arises directly from his continued misconception of himself--at age 63--as someone capable of greatness, as well as the unshakable conviction that greatness stems directly from personal charisma or popularity."

Design for Living
"Design for Living is a comedy play written by Noël Coward in 1932. It concerns a trio of artistic characters, Gilda, Otto and Leo, and their complicated three-way relationship. Originally written to star Lynn Fontanne, Alfred Lunt and Coward, it was premiered on Broadway, partly because its risqué subject matter was thought unacceptable to the official censor in London. It was not until 1939 that a London production was presented."

The Devil's Disciple
"The Devil's Disciple is an 1897 play written by Irish dramatist, George Bernard Shaw. The play is Shaw's eighth, and after Richard Mansfield's original 1897 American production it was his first financial success, which helped to affirm his career as a playwright.Set in Colonial America during the Revolutionary era, the play tells the story of Richard Dudgeon, a local outcast and self-proclaimed 'Devil's disciple.' In a twist characteristic of Shaw's love of paradox, Dudgeon sacrifices himself in a Christ-like gesture despite his professed Infernal allegiance."

A Doll's House
"A Doll's House
is an 1879 play by Henrik Ibsen. Written one year after The Pillars of Society, the play was the first of Ibsen's to create a sensation and is now perhaps his most famous play, and required reading in many secondary schools and universities. The play was controversial when first published, as it is sharply critical of 19th century marriage  norms. It follows the formula of well-made play up until the final act, when it breaks convention by ending with a discussion, not an unravelling. It is often called the first true feminist play. The play is also an important work of the naturalist  movement, in which real events and situations are depicted on stage in a departure from previous forms such as romanticism."

The Duchess of Malfi
"A dramatization of John Webster's play about a young widow who becomes a victim of vengeance when she ignores her family's wishes and remarries."