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After the Fall

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  2,227 ratings  ·  99 reviews
As Howard Taubman outlines the play: "At the outset Quentin emerges, moves forward and seats himself on the edge of the stage and begins to talk, like a man confiding in a friend. In the background are key figures in his life, and they move in and out of his narrative. The narration shades into scenes, little and big. They are revelations and illuminations. They remind ...more
Paperback, 145 pages
Published January 28th 1984 by Bantam Books (first published 1964)
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Average rating 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,227 ratings  ·  99 reviews

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David Schaafsma
May 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: plays, drama
I have decided to re-read or listen to productions of Arthur Miller's plays, many of which I have taught or seen produced many times. I'd never read this play or seen it, after heard it was interesting, but somehow self-serving, focused as it is in part on his relationship to Marilyn Monroe, with whom he had divorced two years previous to the first production of the play. I listened to an LA Theaterworks production over the last couple days, starring Anthony Paglia, who plays a lawyer stand-in ...more
Jan 13, 2014 rated it did not like it
Quite possibly the worst play I've ever read, and please take into consideration that I went to college with playwrights and was forced to read their crap. Imagine Arthur Miller weepily masturbating onstage for an hour and a half.

This play was worse. Though similar.

I also don't care for this perpetuated image of Marilyn Monroe being a failure. As a child she was the victim of sexual abuse, abandonment and neglect, all while growing up in dozens of foster homes. Of course she turned into a drug
Jul 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays
Floored me. Here's me, on the floor. It haunts me.
Apr 04, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-it, 2015, drama
Nope. Wasn't really a fan of this one. Very disjointed, confusing, hard to follow along. It all takes place inside one man's mind, so things jump around a lot. Characters are despicable, moody, and their choices seem illogical or at least inexplicable in this context.
Mary Slowik
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: borrowed, drama
December of Drama 2015, day thirteen

Well, it finally happened. When I picked out two Arthur Miller plays to read this year, I was consciously trying to avoid the one he wrote about his marriage with Marilyn Monroe. I'd forgotten the title of it. I chose wisely, initially: The View from the Bridge, and The Price-- except the volume of his work that I checked out (1964-1982) didn't have The View from the Bridge. So what did I substitute? The first play in the collection: After the Fall. Which, of
Dec 24, 2011 rated it did not like it
Pretentious piffle from a likewise playwrote who damns
his far more talented movie star exwife.
Kathleen Savala
Nov 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
Some thought provoking quotes but mostly reminds me of ex's erratic, irrational, inconsistent ramblings.
Feb 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Re-read this because I'm getting rid of it, it's not one of my favorites and there are no good monologues in it and my edition is a really dingy paperback anyway. That being said, I liked it better this second time I read it. It's still kind of wanky, Miller trying to analyze his relationship with Marilyn Monroe and decide whether he was really in love with her, or just wanted to save her, or just wanted to sleep with her, or what. There's some good stuff in here about that relationship and ...more
Jessica Baxter
Sep 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
completely unputdownable, heartbreaking and fragile and aching and engrossing from the first page. it makes it even more riveting knowing that its about his (of course) complicated relationship with marilyn monroe. im desperate to see this acted, and im even more desperate to play the role of maggie. someone somwhere please, let me play that role.
Jun 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: plays, american
Miller's biased and fragile reminiscences of his emotional wives.
Jan 19, 2012 rated it liked it
I am a fan of Arthur Miller's plays; The Crucible is my favorite... I've read it many times and have seen it performed a couple of times. After the Fall is more of a 'mixed bag' for me. This play is clearly semi-autobiographical with the main character, Quentin, being Miller himself and the character, Maggie, is Marilyn Monroe. Miller incorporates the 'Red Scare' into this play (which I actually found very interesting) and he seemed to be at a point personally in which he was trying to figure ...more
Rick Rapp
Jun 30, 2012 rated it liked it
A cruel, thinly veiled portrait of Marilyn...
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought this one was a little confusing.
Apr 10, 2010 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Jun 20, 2016 rated it liked it
From a purely objective stance, it was very well done. There are some incredibly heart-wrenching moments throughout it, especially towards the end of Act 2.
However, I can't help but feel that Miller is exploiting Marilyn's legacy? Treating her mental illness as an object for his personal growth so shortly after her death doesn't sit right with me (although it does provide a lot of interesting insight into their relationship).
Cary S
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: plays
Extremely dated. It's a product of its time, but that doesn't really stop it from being, at its core, misogynistic and confusing. Theatrically, the convention of staging the play in Quentin's mind was insightful and seemingly well-executed. (+1 star). But on the whole, this wasn't my cup of proverbial tea...
Chuck O'Connor
Jun 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Epic, devastating - I love Arthur Miller.
Kaethe Douglas
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: format-script
This was the play that convinced me I didn't like Miller very much.
May 16, 2015 rated it did not like it
I didn’t care for this autobiographical-ish snapshot of Miller and his wives. He’s despicable, his wives are one- dimensional. Blech!

I requested this collection of plays from interlibrary loan.
Kent Winward
Feb 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Well, it wasn't quite Death of a Salesman.
Jake Van Hoorn
Sep 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Parts of this are promising but when it gets to the section that’s very clearly about Marilyn Monroe and could be translated no other way, it’s hard to disagree with the critics who said they felt he exploited his relationship with her to sell tickets. Definitely not one that stands the test of time.
May 28, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: plays
کوئنتاین، می گوید: جهان پر از بی عدالتی بود، من به دنیا آمده بودم تا درستشان کنم!

Most of Arthur miller’s plays such as “A View from the Bridge”, “The Crucible”, “All My Sons”, “Death of a Salesman” etc. are categorized as modern tragedies; the struggles of the everyday man; social American tragedies, focusing on the dark side of the American dream. “All my Sons” is a classic play, about guilt, responsibility, and the relationship between fathers and sons in the aftermath of a World War II
Apr 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Whatever Arthur Miller’s intentions in writing After the Fall, the themes of the play were overshadowed by controversy over his portrayal of his former wife, Marilyn Monroe. Monroe is here produced as a singer called Maggie, and her character is so unsympathetic that it raised concerns about how fair it is to put real people as characters in a fictional work.

This is not a new concern. Woody Allen’s films provide many autobiographical details, and sometimes he even analyses his own right to
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
Interestingly the play After the Fall deals with the historical tragedies of the Great Depression, the Holocaust, and the Red Scare.

The best thing about Arthur Miller's After the Fall is the format: As a transition between scenes, Quentin, the main character, speaks out loud about his life and experiences to an unseen "Listener." The story emerges from Quentin's memories and associations. Persons from various time periods in his life might appear on stage in a given scene at the same time due
Aug 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Arthur Miller is always deep, but even by his standards, this is on another level. I do not think you could do justice to this in any summary. It must be experienced to be fully understood. I'll try my best though. It wasn't hard for me to see myself in Quentin. Not in the sense that I've experienced the same things - far from that - but in the sense of how weighty the burden of memory can be on our shoulders. To look back at something you once had and loved and to know you've been exiled from ...more
Jan 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: american, plays
I didn't know till I read that 'After the Fall' is a highly autobiographical account of Arthur Miller, himself, told through a man named Quentin/main character, who has suffered through a difficult family life and two marriages.

It is depicted artistically by freely flowing from scene to scene with no regard to time or location, but that does not make up for the dullness of the overall story or may be it was too sophisticated for my tastes.

The plot takes place inside the mind of Quentin, a New
Mar 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: play
Would give 3.5 stars.
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Can't pretend I understand fully what the plot and themes are about, but safe to say I found it one of Miller's most poignant and moving works. I like it better than Death of a Salesman, even; especially loved the interesting structure of the play in unfolding from the dream-like perspective of the main character Quentin. The vignettes and characters in them came and went like people flickering in Quentin's consciousness, which although made the play a rather confusing read also had the effect ...more
Mar 29, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reread, 2016, drama
A challenging read because it is told in a very non-linear sequence with minor characters popping in and out of main character's (Quentin) life in fragmentary bits to reveal key moments/relationships with family, wives, friends throughout his life. The most interesting scenes for me are those between Quentin and Maggie (which struck some viewers as scandalous for its apparent revelations about Miller's marriage to Marilyn Monroe. In an essay about the play, Miller denied that Maggie is based on ...more
Samantha Glasser
Mar 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, classics
I was interested in reading this book because of Miller's reputation as an acclaimed playwright. I read The Crucible in school and did not like it, so I decided to read something on my own time (because sometimes reading things in school makes them less enjoyable).

I am a big Marilyn Monroe fan, and I didn't realize that the character Maggie was based on her when I read this, but it made sense because she was the only thing I liked about this story. The format of the play is interesting, with
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Arthur Asher Miller was an American playwright and essayist. He was a prominent figure in American literature and cinema for over 61 years, writing a wide variety of plays, including celebrated plays such as The Crucible, A View from the Bridge, All My Sons, and Death of a Salesman, which are still studied and performed worldwide. Miller was often in the public eye, most famously for refusing to ...more
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“MAGGIE, in pain: That’s what I mean; I’m a joke to most people.

QUENTIN: No, it’s that you say what you mean, Maggie. You don’t seem to be upholding anything, you’re not—ashamed of what you are.

MAGGIE: W-what do you mean, of what I am?

… But you didn’t, did you?

He turns to her in agony.

Laugh at me?

QUENTIN: No. He suddenly stands and cries out to Listener. Fraud! From the first five minutes! …Because! I should have agreed she was a joke, a beautiful piece, trying to take herself seriously! Why did I lie to her, play this cheap benefactor, this— Listens, and now unwillingly he turns back to her.

MAGGIE: Like when you told me to fix where my dress was torn? You wanted me to be— proud of myself. Didn’t you?”
“To admit what you see endangers principles.” 0 likes
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