Preview
Preview

Essay about Death of a Salesman - A Modern Day Tragedy

No Works Cited
Length: 1182 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Death of a Salesman - A Modern Day Tragedy

The question which arises within Death of a Salesman is, 'Is this a
modern Tragedy?' A tragic play can be commonly observed when a
protagonist falls from a great height. His decline is not about
immediate death, although in most cases death becomes apparent at the
end of the play, e.g. Macbeth. A tragedy shows the suffering of a
character and utter compulsion of him if he does not succeed to reach
his dream. These plays show the blissful release from intolerable
suffering this character feels. In most tragedies the immediate
audience is unable to relate directly to this torture the character is
going through. They will still have emotions towards the play but
usually, e.g. Shakespeare's plays the main tragic protagonist is that
of status, a king.

Aristotelian defined tragedy as "the imitation of an action that is
serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself." It
incorporates "incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to
accomplish the catharsis of such emotions."

The tragic hero will most effectively evoke both our pity and terror
if he is neither thoroughly good nor thoroughly evil but a combination
of both. The tragic effect will be stronger if the hero is "better
than we are," in that he is of higher than ordinary moral worth. But
this is not always the case in today's modern plays such as 'Death of
a Salesman.'

In Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman is seen falling from a great
height. Although, he is not born into nobility like most tragic heroes
are generally portrayed. Willy Loamn was responsible for is own fate.
At the beginning of the play within the initial flashbacks we judge
that Willy's life used to be fairly successful. Willy br...


... middle of paper ...


...lso as he too excluded his dream of
getting out of the city into open spaces and own a large ranch. Willy
thought this was a boy's dreams not a man's. Eventually he met a
tragic death. When this play was initially staged the audience
remained silent for a number of minutes after it had concluded. The
director thought that they did not enjoy it, after which he found out
that the silence was emotion as the play was so touching that the
audience could immediately reach out and relate to the Loman's life.
They did not clap immediately as they had become so engrossed with it
that their natural instincts reminded them that it was rude to clap at
a funeral. This accompanied the idea that the audience was deeply
affected by pity and fear, like all tragic plays. This clarifies to me
that this is a modern day tragedy. Approached with an air of realism,
not a faade.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Essay about Death of a Salesman - A Modern Day Tragedy - Death of a Salesman - A Modern Day Tragedy The question which arises within Death of a Salesman is, 'Is this a modern Tragedy?' A tragic play can be commonly observed when a protagonist falls from a great height. His decline is not about immediate death, although in most cases death becomes apparent at the end of the play, e.g. Macbeth. A tragedy shows the suffering of a character and utter compulsion of him if he does not succeed to reach his dream. These plays show the blissful release from intolerable suffering this character feels....   [tags: Death of a Salesman] 1182 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman is A Modern Tragedy - Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman is A Modern Tragedy              In the fourth century B.C., Aristotle set forth his description of dramatic tragedy, and for centuries after, tragedy continued to be defined by his basic observations. It was not until the modern age that playwrights began to deviate somewhat from the basic tenets of Aristotelian tragedy and, in doing so, began to create plays more recognizable to the common people and, thereby, less traditional. Even so, upon examination, the basic plot structure of some modern tragedies actually differs very little from that of the ancient classics....   [tags: Death Salesman essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1053 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about The Modern Tragedy: Death Of A Salesman - A Modern Tragedy A form of drama in which a person of superior intelligence and character is overcome by the very obstacles he/she is struggling to remove defines a tragedy as most people know it. However, tragedy can reflect another aspect of life: the tragedies of the common people. Heroic behavior in these instances may at times be impossible. We expect, from reading the first tragedies, that only kings or nobility can be tragic heroes. Arthur Miller himself said, “I believe that the common man is as apt a subject for tragedy in its highest sense as kings were…[The same characteristics] which were enacted by royal beings…apply to everyone in similar emotional situations.” Dea...   [tags: essays research papers] 433 words
(1.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on The play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller - The play Death of a Salesman, written by Arthur Miller, is about an average salesman living in Brooklyn, New York in the 1940’s named Willy Loman. Willy firmly believes in the American dream and is living his life aspiring to gain the wealth and materials associated with those of higher status in society. This American dream tears apart his family and the end result is his own demise. Glengarry Glen Ross, by David Mamet, has a plot similar to Death of a Salesman in that it is about salesmen and it shows the effects of capitalism on people and society....   [tags: modern tragedy, american dream] 1067 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Death of a Salesman: Tragic but Not a Tragedy Essay - Death of a Salesman: Tragic but Not a Tragedy Though a more modern version of tragedy in its’ classical sense, Death of a Salesman in many ways is very much like an ancient Greek play. In his ‘Poetics’ Aristotle tries to set out the common ideas throughout tragedy, attempting to demystify the necessary elements for such plays. One of his main ideas was that of the ‘Three Unities’ - that of Space, that of Time and that of Action. He stated that all the action of a tragedy must occur in the place, which was often the front of a palace, which allowed the poet to have many characters coming and going, and allowed random meetings to occur easily, rather than having to ‘explain’ the reaso...   [tags: Death Salesman Arthur Miller essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
1374 words
(3.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Tragedy in "Death of a Salesman" Essay - Modern domestic tragedies began between the late 19th century and feature ordinary people to be the heroes/anti-heroes unlike Greek tragedies in which the protagonist was of high status or noble birth. “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller is a classic example of this and features the anti-hero Willy showing the audience how his perfect family lifestyle has falling apart contributing to the disorder of his world which increases as his mind slowly deteriorates. Through the play Willy is striving to live the American Dream; to have a better, richer and happier life....   [tags: Death of a Salesman, Aurthur Miller, tragedy, ] 916 words
(2.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Tragedy of "Death of a Salesman" Essay - In the writing world today, there are many definitions for technical terms that are used to describe certain genres of theatre, music and literature. There are romantic novels, musical dramas, and tragic plays. Tragedy is a difficult genre to pinpoint and label. The title ‘tragedy’ can be placed on virtually any piece of writing that involves a death. But it also is up to the individual as to what they believe a tragedy is defined as. The play, Death of a Salesman is not tragedy in the traditional sense of the word....   [tags: Literary Analysis]
:: 1 Works Cited
922 words
(2.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Common Man as Tragic Hero in Death of a Salesman Essay - Common Man as Tragic Hero in Death of a Salesman What is tragedy. While the literal definition may have changed over the centuries, one man believed he knew the true meaning of a tragic performance. Aristotle belonged to the culture that first invented tragic drama – the ancient Greeks. Through this, he gave himself credibility enough to illustrate the universally necessary elements of tragic drama. In The Poetics, Aristotle gives a clear definition of a tragedy, writing that it is “an imitation, through action rather than narration, of a serious, complete, and ample action, by means of language rendered pleasant at different places in the constituent parts by each of the aids [used to...   [tags: Death Salesman Miller essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
1533 words
(4.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay about Using Time Lapses in Death of a Salesman - Using Time Lapses in Death of a Salesman Arthur Miller wrote “Death of a Salesman” in 1949. For this essay I am planning to explore the structural devices used in the play. Particularly time lapses. The play is set in Willy’s house and the various places he visits in New York. “Death of a Salesman” has been described as a modern tragedy and it certainly follows the rules. Willy Loman, the protagonist, is the tragic hero with a fatal flaw; his defect is his supreme pretence and pride. He lives in two different worlds....   [tags: Death of a Salesman Arthur Miller Time Essays] 1120 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman as Classic Greek Tragedy Essay - Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman as Classic Greek Tragedy Miller’s Death of a Salesman is an interesting and complex play set at a time of great change in America. Some people believe that it is one of a few classic tragedies written in modern time. While on the surface this play and characters don't appear to hold the definition of tragedy that Aristotle described. In a modern context I believe it may be very close to fitting that mold. Willy is a person that has always been a dreamer. Willy is very proud and self reliant in his approach to life....   [tags: Death Salesman essays] 1170 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]