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The Price: A Play Paperback – January, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Dramatists Play Service, Inc.; Acting Edition edition (January 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082220911X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822209119
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #755,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Arthur Miller was born in New York City in 1915 and studied at the University of Michigan. His plays include All My Sons (1947), Death of a Salesman (1949), The Crucible (1953), A View from the Bridge and A Memory of Two Mondays (1955), After the Fall (1963), Incident at Vichy (1964), The Price (1968), The Creation of the World and Other Business (1972) and The American Clock. He has also written two novels, Focus (1945), and The Misfits, which was filmed in 1960, and the text for In Russia (1969), Chinese Encounters (1979), and In the Country (1977), three books of photographs by his wife, Inge Morath. More recent works include a memoir, Timebends (1987), and the plays The Ride Down Mt. Morgan (1991), The Last Yankee (1993), Broken Glass (1993), which won the Olivier Award for Best Play of the London Season, and Mr. Peter's Connections (1998). His latest book is On Politics and the Art of Acting. Miller was granted with the 2001 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He has twice won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, and in 1949 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Arthur Miller (1915-2005) was born in New York City in 1915 and studied at the University of Michigan. He was awarded the Avery Hopwood Award for Playwrighting at University of Michigan in 1936. He twice won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, received two Emmy awards and three Tony Awards for his plays, as well as a Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement. He also won an Obie award, a BBC Best Play Award, the George Foster Peabody Award, a Gold Medal for Drama from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the Literary Lion Award from the New York Public Library, the John F. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Algur Meadows Award. He received honorary degrees from Oxford University and Harvard University and was awarded the Prix Moliere of the French theatre, the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Lifetime Achievement Award and the Pulitzer Prize, as well as numerous other awards. He was named the Jefferson Lecturer for the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2001. He was awarded the 2002 Prince of Asturias Award for Letters and the 2003 Jerusalem Prize.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
Victor Franz, who is negotiating the price of the contents of his family home with an appraiser, had no interest in claiming any of these objects when his father died sixteen years before, and his wife Esther has no interest in them now. Victor, however, has contacted his estranged brother Walter in a final effort to settle the estate. Though the appraiser drives a hard bargain, the reader realizes that the real price playwright Arthur Miller is discussing is not the value of the furnishings but the price each person must pay for not knowing or willfully ignoring the facts about issues affecting his life.

Victor and his brother Walter have been estranged for about twenty years, ever since Victor was forced to drop out of college, where he was a brilliant student studying science. It was the Depression, but Victor could have stayed in school if his brother Walter, already a doctor, had loaned him a mere five hundred dollars. Walter refused. Victor's college career ended, and he became a policeman, staying at home to care for his unemployed, ailing father for the rest of his life. Victor has never forgiven Walter for his betrayal of trust.

When Walter arrives to see Victor, the contrast between the brothers is obvious their in dress and attitude. Soon, however, the audience realizes that Victor does not have all the facts about Walter's refusal of the loan. Likewise, Walter does not realize the extremes to which Victor had to go--rummaging through the garbage to find food for the family--while Walter contributed only five dollars a month toward his father's support. The manipulations by the father also become obvious, and as Victor and Walter express their rage, the full picture of this pitifully dysfunctional and uncommunicative family is revealed.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 15, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I saw this play on June 14,2005 in a performance given by the Jerusalem English Speaking Theatre . The play was directed by Leah Stoller, and featured David Glickman, Gail Kirschner, Marvin Meital,and Arthur J. Fischer. The performance was excellent and Fischer was especially convincing as the policeman brother Victor Franz who sacrificed the education and career he might have had to care for his father and his own family.

The play tells the story of the selling off of the family furniture sixteen years after the pater familias has died. The policeman brother and his wife open the play speaking about their own life, its disappointments, their lack of money and status. Soon after they are joined by the appraiser Solomon a ninety year old Yiddish accented fighter for life who throughout the play laments the loss of his daughter. They speak about the 'price' which the appraiser will give for the old furniture. Later when they are joined by the second brother, the successful surgeon who ran away from family responsibility to make a career and who has a broken and difficult family of his own, they begin to speak about the real ' price' .And this is the price which is paid for making the decisions we make in life, choosing the path we choose, making or not making the sacrifices we make. One brother has chosen the path of family loyalty and sacrificed career and prestige. The second chose the opposite. The first resents this and in the second part of the play voices this resentment, as his brother tries to rationalize and justify his failure to truly help the family when they needed it.

Their dialogue is made in a simple colloquial language but as with the other work of Miller, this simple speech often contains profound reflections on life and its meaning.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J on January 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
This 1968 play from Miller is one of the author's better works in a career full of 'better works'.

While 'The Price' is definitely one of Miller's lesser known plays, there is certainly no reason for it to be so. It stands tall and ranks up with there with Miller's best, probably only being surpassed by a sparse number of his other works.

Many a synopsis can be found elsewhere on this page, so I'll skip that.
I will say that this play is a slow-burner. Miller takes his time establishing the characters, their relationships to each other and the world that they all inhabit. The writing throughout is simple yet elegant (though the dialogue at times is a bit outdated).

The core relationship between the two brothers has a great deal of depth and never strays from being completely and utterly real. Each of the brothers is tremendously well-written and well thought out. Miller never cheats in his writing of either of these two characters; each stays true to himself at all times and never acts out of character.

"The Price" is always sure of itself, its footing is always true and Miller always knows exactly where the play is going. The entire last third of the play is an absolute knockout as the steady, methodical pace that Miller has spent the beginning of the play cultivating, suddenly blows its top and the brothers really dive into the hearts and minds of each other.

Even the character of the appraiser, Solomon, whom at first seems like a boring, comedic stereotype, quickly reveals himself to be something deeper.

My only complaint about the play is that its sole female character, Esther, doesn't really need to be present.
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