Comparing the Tragedies of Julius Caesar, Death of a Salesman, and Oedipus Rex

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For a story to be a tragedy it has to follow the principles set by Aristotle, a Greek philosopher, or those of Arthur Miller who is a twentieth century playwright. A tragedy, in Aristotle's view, usually concerns the fall of an individual whose character is good but not perfect and his misfortunes are brought about by the tragic flaw. This flaw is the part of the character that personifies him as being tragic. Miller uses this definition of a tragedy but also broadens it to include the common man. All of these characteristics are seen in the plays Julius Caesar, Death of a Salesman, and Oedipus Rex. Although the title of the play Julius Caesar focuses on Caesar, the play itself is really based on Brutus. "Brutus had rather be a villager than to repute himself a son of Rome."(Act I, scene II, line 172). This was said by Brutus after Cassius told him how Caesar had become a towering figure over Rome and how Caesar controls Rome. Notice the good in Brutus, and the extremes he will go to in order to protect democracy in Rome even if it means killing the one he loves, Caesar. Brutus possesses one of the most tragic flaws. He is too nice of a person and therefore he gets taken advantage of. He lets Cassius persuade him into killing Caesar for the good of Rome. Because he does for others more than himself he makes a fatal mistake, he lets Antony live. Brutus says to the conspirators, "For Antony is but a limb of Caesar"(Act II scene I line 165) meaning that if Caesar is killed Antony will die off too. Brutus clearly does not regard Antony as being a threat, but little does Brutus know that Antony will stir up the town to seek revenge after the assassination of Caesar. This mistake will cost him his own life. When he dies he becomes a prime example of tragedy because not only did he bring about his own death he dies by his own hand. In Death of a Salesman, Willy Lowman's tragic flaw is that

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