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ENG 102: English Composition II
Mrs. Saitta-Ringger


Quiz: Death of a Salesman

1. How does the play take place both in the past and the present?

2. What wrong ideas about how to achieve success does Willy instill in his sons? Give a specific example.

3. What is Linda’s attitude towards her husband? Give a specific example to illustrate it.

4. What happens when Willy tries to talk to Howard Wagner about being put back on salary?

5. What incident caused Biff to become totally disillusioned with his father, whom he had

previously idolized?

6. What does Bernard say that Biff did upon returning from seeing Willy in Boston?

7. Who is Charley, and how does he try to help Willy?

8. At the end, what does Biff admit was the reason that he didn’t have an address for three


9. Upon realizing that Biff does like him, Willy decides to kill himself. How does he think that his suicide will help Biff?

10. How do Linda’s comments after Willy’s funeral add to the sadness of his death?

Extra credit: In Biff’s final argument with Willy, he says, “We never told the truth for ten minutes in this house!” Give a specific example that illustrates Biff’s point.

ENG 102: English Composition II

Literary Terms for Drama

tragedy: dramatization of a serious happening (Aristotle); a serious play showing the
protagonist moving from good fortune to bad and ending in death or a deathlike

tragic hero: protagonist who falls from greatness, or the potential for greatness, through
some flaw in his character or error in judgment

tragic flaw: the weakness in character or error in judgment that causes the tragic hero’s
downfall (
in Aristotle’s Poetics)

: overweening or excessive pride (the hamartia of the tragic hero in many Greek


pathos: pity, sadness

tragedy vs. pathos: in the tragic, suffering is experienced by people who act in such a
way as to cause their own fate, to some degree; in the pathetic, suffering is
experienced by people who are passive, innocent victims

dramatic irony: situation in which the audience is aware of something of which the
characters are unaware, thus creating tension

comedy: a play characterized by humor and by a happy ending (typically a wedding)

stage directions: a playwright’s indication to the actors and/or readers about, for
example, the appearance of the set, how a character is to speak a line, etc.