Suicide Attempts
Pages 40—49.
• be able to perceive developments in
characters throughout the play
• explore the interactions between
• How did Willy initially try to commit
• What else has he tried to do?
• How does Linda try to cover up her
• What does Willy overhear Biff saying
on p.43? How does he react?
• Why is Biff going to visit Bill Oliver?
• How does Happy’s suggestion reflect
the ideals of the American Dream?
• How does Willy’s mood change after
this conversation?
• List all the advice Willy gives Biff
regarding his meeting with Bill Oliver
on p.45-48.
• What does Biff do at the end of the
Close Analysis
• Re-read from Willy, dear, he just
decided…(p.44) to Will you stop!
• Annotate the extract closely, paying
particular attention to:
Character relationships
Miller’s language
Miller’s stage directions
Tension created
• Add detailed notes to your mind map
of Linda. Use quotations.
• Comment on the way that Willy treats
her and how she deals with it.
Close Analysis
• Re-read from Yeah, sing to me. (p.49)
to the end of Act 1
• Annotate the scene, paying close
attention to:
Character relationships
Language and stage directions
Extended Writing
• You are going to write an essay
answering the question: How does
Miller create dramatic tension in Act 1
of ‘Death of a Salesman’?
• Spend 10 minutes on gathering your
ideas—use a spider diagram to help
you arrange your thoughts.
• You must plan your answer logically
and use PEEL throughout.
Dramatic Tension occurs when…
• There is a conflict between characters
• When characters are frustrated
• When the audience or certain characters
know information that others don’t
know (Dramatic Irony)
• When withheld information is hinted at
Dramatic Tension is created by…
• Characters getting angry with each
other: often denoted by short
sentences, exclamation marks and
strong language
• Stage directions giving extra
• Conversations between characters
about other characters/situations
• Secrets being unveiled
Before you write.
• Find 5 or 6 points that you can make in
response to the question
• Check that you have at least one suitable
(and short) quotation for each point; do not
use the same quotation for two points
• List the most logical order to present your
points, it does not necessarily have to be a
chronological order although this can
sometimes be an effective structure.
• Link your thoughts together by using
connectives and clear topic sentences at the
start of each paragraph

Death of a Salesman