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Death of a Salesman (1949) A Pulitzer Prize–winning play by the American writer Arthur Miller. Willy Loman, a salesman who finds himself regarded as useless in his occupation because of his age, kills himself. A speech made by a friend of Willy’s after his suicide is well known and ends with the lines: “Nobody dast blame this man. A salesman is got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory.”

Please help me to understand the highlighted parts.
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"Dast" escapes me. It's obviously a typo error. Wish I still had my copy so I could look it up.

The rest of it means that a salesman has to dream...it's in his blood, it's part of the job, without it he would be useless.

Edit: I just googled enough of the line to see that there is no word between "nobody" and "blame".
Hi,

If you look in the fine print here, you'll see that 'dast' is an archaic "Negro English" form of 'dare'.

Did you see this on the stage? Sometimes actors on the stage vary a little from the script as written.

Was the character saying this an African-American?

Clive

PS - Philip, I googled the 'dast' version. There are a number of sites that supposedly quote the line from the play, and include the 'dast'. Are there perhaps different versions of the script?

http://books.google.ca/books?id=vAr2T4Bh7nkC&pg=PA13&lpg=PA13&dq=dast+-test+-course+-series+dare&...
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It's been a few years since I last saw it, but I seem to remember "dast." (Surely not "No one would dare to blame . . . ")

Around the turn of the last century, the local entertainment of small New England towns often included "minstrel shows," and some of the old scripts were still in our music collections when I was a kid. "Dast" was very common. I also recall hearing it on the old Amos 'n Andy radio show.
CliveHi,

Clive

PS - Philip, I googled the 'dast' version. There are a number of sites that supposedly quote the line from the play, and include the 'dast'. Are there perhaps different versions of the script?



Very interesting. I'm not sure what Arthur Miller would have to say about it. Alas, we'll never know, because he is resting in eternity with Marilyn.

[Edit: the use of 'is got to' instead of 'has got to' certainly gives credence to the possibility of an African-American version. I've not seen or read the African-American version of "Cat On a Hot Tin Roof" (James Earl Jones, I believe). Perhaps things like this appear in that play as well.

There is an interesting little write-up about "dast" here .
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It's also in the Dictionary of American Regional English. There are many forms of "dare" and "dare not" listed - dast; darst; dassn't; darsn't; durst (past). I've heard these spoken in the deep south or Appalachia.
Philip I'm not sure what Arthur Miller would have to say about it. Alas, we'll never know, because he is resting in eternity with Marilyn.
Are you sure? I thought I saw them last week at a Yankees' game. Emotion: rolleyes
An old professor of mine, still writing reviews at the age of 100, and a stickler for detail, assures me there were never two versions of the play. He, as well as Philip, mentions the possible confusion with "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof" in this respect.

He says the "dast" line is repeated, and also mentions "a salesman is got to dream."
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