Analysis Of Tragedy And The Common Man

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Redefining the definition of a tragic hero Arthur Miller, the author of the essay titled “Tragedy and the Common Man” examines the definition of tragedy. Miller was also the playwright of “Death of a Salesman” which psychologically exploits a common man attempting to encapture the American dream. Miller’s theory pushes the limitation on the ideal of a tragic hero examined in these two pieces of literature. The following paragraphs will evaluate characteristics of a protagonist character named Willy Loman, examining his status in society, shortcomings and his choice to sacrifice his own life for his dignity. A common man is someone who lacks a distinguishable rank or status, shows emotion and is deemed ordinary by society. Miller…show more content…
Anyone who is willing to go against the grain to fight for what they believe to be justice is a tragic hero. “Only the passive, only those who accept their lot without active retaliation, are ‘flawless.’” (Tragedy and the Common Man). Willy’s main flaw is hard to distinguish due to all his inconsistencies the only thing that remains consistent throughout the play is Willy’s self deception. The delusional thoughts he experiences hold a true value for him; they are the driving force behind everything he pursues. He refuses the criticism from all who surround him they are viewed as the external force that Willy is going against to feel justified. He becomes so delusional that he is noticeably reconstructing reality inside of his head to be satisfied with where he is at in life and who he perceives himself to be. This is validated through Willy’s extreme case of denial. It can be seen in Willy’s reaction “They laugh at me, heh? Go to Filene’s, go to the Hub, go to Slattery’s. Boston. Call out the name Willy Loman and see what happens! Big shot!” (Tragedy and the Common Man 1239). This reflects Willy’s blindness to reality he insists he is successful even though he is

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