Date of Completion

Spring 4-29-2023

Thesis Advisor(s)

Robert Hasenfratz

Honors Major



English Language and Literature


Arthur Miller has regularly been regarded as one of the most prominent American playwrights of all time, producing timeless and often innately political works designed in part to speak to his perspective on history as it has taken shape. This thesis will discuss the 1951, 1966, and 1985 American adaptations of Death of a Salesman—one of his greatest defining works—to draw attention to his specific perspective while exploring how this messaging can be recontextualized when decades and mediums separate an adaptation from its source text. Furthermore, this thesis will explore choices made by actors and screenplay writers, working to ascertain their shared understanding of the essence of Death of a Salesman while engaging with the context surrounding these choices. Finally, this paper will turn to broader discussions of adaptation theory and the multifaceted approach creators must take when adapting works, deciding what they value most.