Analysis Of Arthur Miller's Tragedy And The Common Man

There is no doubt that Shakespeare was a remarkable writer and dramatist in his time, thus entirely explaining why his literature remains relevant in present day English syllabuses. Shakespeare’s most renowned works are commonly those of tragedies, an archetypal plot pattern that consists of universal elements and recognizable structure. Being one of (The Seven Basic Plots) (Booker), it is definitely controversial as to what defines a tragedy and a tragic hero. Aristotle, a Greek philosopher, had determined that “[e]very Tragedy, therefore, must have six parts” (Outline of Aristotle 's Theory of Tragedy). When analyzing a tragedy’s quality of work, in order of literary importance, these six factors are used: plot, character, thought, diction,…show more content…
Although it is habitually assumed that “tragedy is of necessity allied to pessimism” (Miller), Miller perceives these plot types as forms of possibility, opportunity(,) and optimism. When a man is forced to persevere through seemingly impossible odds and their inevitable tragic flaws, there is a foreseeable possibility that the man in face of struggle could perhaps win. With the understanding that Hamlet is a noble subject in the play, Hamlet must very much be considered a work about the tragedy of other supporting characters, signifying that whether it is the noblest King (king) or the common man, they can encounter tragedies and possess hamartias just the same. In order to support this assertion, one must be familiar with the specific traits that qualify a character as a tragic hero: admiration, tragic flaw, hubris, and self-inflicted downfall. Hamlet consists of many characters, however, the lives of Laertes, King Claudius, and Ophelia all endure tragedy in different societal…show more content…
Laertes, Polonius’ son, is no royal subject in (of) Denmark, for he is simply some random courtier’s offspring who encounters obstacles resembling that of any nobleman. Miller had stated, “[t]he commonest of men may take on that stature to the extent of his willingness to throw all he has into the contest, the battle to secure his rightful place in his world” (Miller), suggesting that without reason, a flawed individual is likely to make irrational decisions. When the King approaches him with a plan for revenge, “[t]o cut his throat i’ th’ church. / I will do ‘t / And for that purpose I’ll anoint my sword.” (IV.vii.127,139-140), Laertes says. Already displaying blatant frustration, he agrees to poison Hamlet with his sword. This young man is tragically flawed for he wears his emotions, consequently lessening his overall judgment and reducing his heights of rationalism. Had he retained how he felt about the situation, this may have allowed him to more clearly foresee the magnitudes of his actions. Contrary to Hamlet, Laertes does not hesitate to take action when he deems appropriate. “The treacherous instrument is in thy hand, / Unbated and envenomed. The foul practice / Hath turned itself on me. Lo, here I lie, / Never to rise again.” (V.ii.317-321), Laertes states, for the manipulated man was stabbed by the sword he poisoned. Although, “The

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