Tragic Hero in Death of a Salesman Produced in the end of modernism, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman portrays a tragic story behind the American Dream. The play encompasses over a life of an average salesman, whose personal failure consumed on his deceptive and deluded life. Aristotle would perceive the downfall of the main character, Willy, as an intellectual error – not a moral error for he had fallen into an error in judgment. Furthermore, Miller combines the Aristotelian principles of tragedy and immerses it in a relatable context for the common people. Although Willy Loman fails to come into self-realization before his death, he, by the Aristotelian definition of tragic flaw and Miller’s belief in the mistakes the “common man,” is
Tragedy is interpreted in various ways. For example the wise Greek philosopher Aristotle defines “tragedy” as a story that contains a character that commits a terrible mistake in his life that leads to his pitiful death. On the other hand, Arthur Miller defines “tragedy” as a characteristic common to all human beings who are willing to give up their lives for the necessary and righteous causes, and for their dignities. A composite definition of a tragedy is a character in a story that recognizes his awful error committed, and is willing to give his life for the necessary cause that would leads to his inevitable death. In The Crucible, John Proctor’s dilemma is to either confess about his affair with Abigail or remain silent about this secret to keep his reputation.
This furthermore leads to the downfall of Willy and his family, proving that Willy Loman is a tragic hero. To conclude, “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller satisfies the criteria for a tragic play because Willy’s pride is a tragic flaw that leads to his downfall. Ultimately, Willy gains enlightenment of his false perception of life and realizes how he inhibits the success of his family. This epiphany leads him to sacrifice himself for the well-being of his family. During his lifetime, Willy’s pride caused him to have an overinflated ego, a bizarre idealistic view on life, and a false value system.
Willy Loman, from the play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, exhibited the traits of a tragic hero. His disastrous qualities came prior to his foreshadowed death when he realized his existence had not panned out the way he had hoped. Mr. Loman aroused sympathy from the readers as he dedicated his life to a single cause, all while having a weakness of pride that led to his catastrophic passing. Willy was destined to pass away from the very start of the story, just like a tragic hero characteristically does. The title of the work shows the fate of Willy Loman.
The tragedy was that he suffered the improbabilities of murdering his father and then marrying his mother, it is a tail of his revelations about his past, and the events that led him to his ultimate fall. In this play, Sophocles illustrated a world of human frailty, pride, and punishment, which helped to propel, with dreadful inevitability, a protagonist moving toward catastrophe. Oedipus is the direct cause of his own undoing, however it is not because he is evil, proud, or weak, but simply because he does not know his true past or who he is. The facts that he believes to be true are unraveled, thus revealing his fate. Oedipus meets the first criterion of a Greek tragedy, which is that the protagonist is a good person.
The play Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller, is a tragedy because it’s hero, Willy Loman, is a tragic figure that faces a superior source, being the American dream and the struggle for success. Loman also excites pity in the reader because of his defeat and his inability to become a success or teach his children how to make their lives successful. Miller defines a flaw as “an inherent unwillingness to remain passive in the face of what one conceives to be a challenge to one’s dignity…” Loman fulfills many of the requirements of being a tragic hero. Willy is not “flawless” in his actions, which by Miller’s standards make him a tragic hero. It is not wrong for Willy to have flaws and it does not make him a weaker man but a tragic figure.
His devastating death at the end of the novel portrays the dangers of centering one’s life on money and other materialistic things and warns the reader not to follow his foolish steps. Jay Gatsby is the epitome of a tragic hero; his greatest attribute of enterprise and ambition contributes to his ultimate demise but his tragic story inspires fear amongst the audience and showcases the dangers of allowing money to consume one’s life. To qualify as a tragic hero, the character must first occupy a "high" status position and also embody virtue as part of his innate character. In Fitzgerald’s novel, the tragic hero Jay Gatsby was not born into wealth but later acquired social status through bootlegging, or selling illegal alcohol during Prohibition. When he was a child, James “Jimmy” Gatz was a naïve boy from North Dakota without any family connections, money, or education who was determined to escape his family’s poverty through hard work and determination.
The standards for a tragic hero were set by Aristotle many years ago. In his book The Poetics, Aristotle argues that a tragic hero must be in the middle of being good and bad, and a tragic hero must cause his own downfall because of acting in blindness. Furthermore a tragic hero must be greater than the common man .Willy Loman has all the qualities that by Aristotle standards, would define him as a tragic hero, except for one. Willy Loman is not king or any kind of nobility, he is just an ordinary person. In Arthur Miller essay “Tragedy of the common man “he states “I believe that the common man is as apt a subject for a tragedy in its highest sense as kings were” (Miller 1).
When people die what makes a great hero and a evil devil different, we all turn to dust and bones but the only thing left from a hero is his story and the devil his tale. Hamlet's philosophy about life expresses a lot about him as a human being and also expresses how his views about life didn't fit the mold of society in his time. The 'to be' soliloquy's main ideas are that Hamlet is contemplating whether he should commit suicide or he should keep living. Is it worth bearing the pain of life and its burdens or should we just end our lives. The only thing hol... ... middle of paper ... ...eing and also expresses how his views about life didn't fit the mold of society in his time.
Whether or not Hamlet's suffering, and then insanity, is caused by his relations or by his own melancholy, Hamlet's struggle embodies the essential inwardness of human suffering that all can relate to.The concrete manifestations of Hamlet's misery are closely related. Not only has his father died, also his uncle is the murderer, his mother marries the uncle and is a likely accessory to the crime, and his true love lies to him. It is reasonable to suppose that Hamlet's state of mind becomes more and more unstable as he is consumed with thoughts of all of the sins against him. Eventually Hamlet loses all sense of life's significance. He states to his deceitful mother and uncle, "But I have that within which passes show These but the trappings and the suit of woe" (I, II, 85-86).