Compare Oedipus And Death Of A Salesman

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Oedipus vs. Willy Tragedy Essay RD

The tragic plays Oedipus the King and Death of a Salesman consist of storylines with interesting characters that face trials due to hamartia.The play of Oedipus the King by Sophocles describes a hero, Oedipus, who solves the riddle of the Sphinx and becomes ruler of the city of Thebes. Oedipus tries to cure the city of Thebes from a plague but is absorbed in his pride and doesn’t listen to the oracles or prophecies. Oedipus then discovers his fate, which eventually causes pain to his city, his family, and himself. Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman is about a struggling salesman who faces challenges with his family and career and is distracted by the past. Willy Loman feels the need to end his life so
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Linda, Willy’s wife, finds out that Willy is trying to kill himself. Willy’s tragic flaws occur when his son Biff discovers ‘the Lady’ that Willy had a brief affair with in Boston. Tensions between Willy and his sons grew stronger after the truth was known about Willy’s acts. Willy is also unable to accept truth and the reality of the world. He cannot accept Biff not being the magnificent son that Willy hopes him to be one day. Willy’s interpretation of the ‘American Dream,’ being that the true reason for success and greatness is stemmed from a well-liked personality and popularity, is also something that he has a misconception about. Likewise, Willy is not able to find the same success in his older age as he did back in his prime. Willy Loman’s failure as a salesman and controversy with his family shows he wasn’t happy and wanted to end his life. Willy often sought his successful brother Ben’s advice and desperately tried to relive his happy and successful moments in his life through flashbacks with his sons and career. Willy believed that he would solve emotional and financial problems by ending his life. Linda described Willy’s life as he continued to struggle, "Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a person you called crazy-you don 't have to be very smart to…show more content…
Oedipus follows closely to Aristotle’s views of tragedy because he possesses the specific qualities of being noble, good or fine, true to life, and true to their type.An example of this is when Oedipus solves the riddle of the Sphinx, “I came, know-nothing Oedipus, I stopped the Sphinx. I answered the riddle with my own intelligence.”(Sophocles 27). Oedipus is a noble figure who after solving the riddle of the Sphinx became a hero to Thebes. He seeks refuge for Thebes from the plague and is supported by the Chorus. However, Oedipus brought fate on himself after he was ignored the prophetic knowledge of the Oracle at Delphi which said he would kill his own father and marry his own mother. He left his home in Corinth hoping the prophecy was false and went on to kill an older man and marry an older woman. Throughout the Oedipus the King playwright, Oedipus is blind from the truth and the reality of things. His stubbornness and views to accept the knowledge of the prophecies is an expression of extreme pride. Oedipus’s pride is apparent many times throughout the play and ultimately leads to his downfall. An example of his pride is “Here I am, myself, world-famous Oedipus”(Sophocles 2). His lack of knowledge of who his real parents were and the unfortunate prophecies placed on him were the two aspects that played a role in his crimes he committed. In the end, Oedipus finds out the truth
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