According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary tragedy is a serious piece of literature typically describing a conflict between the protagonist and a superior force and having a sorrowful or disastrous conclusion that excites pity or terror. Miller’s explains that a tragic hero does not always have to be a monarch or a man of a higher status. A tragic hero can be a common person. A tragedy does not always have to end pessimistically; it could have an optimistic ending. 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.
Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman tells the story of a man trying and failing to obtain success for him and his family. Willy Loman, a traveling salesman, has been trying to ‘make it big’ for the majority of his life. Miller’s play explores the themes of abandonment and betrayal and their effects on life’s success. Willy sees himself as being abandoned by his older brother, Ben, and constantly views his sibling’s betrayal as one that changed his prospects forever. Willy, in turn, is guilty of a different type of abandonment and betrayal of his sons, especially Biff.
Lay on, Macduff; and damned be him that first cries “Hold, enough!” (V. viii. 30-34) In the end, Macbeth’s greed and search for power leads to his degeneration. His death is the final part of his downfall and the final aspect of being a tragic hero. In conclusion, Macbeth is a tragic hero because he shows various elements of being such a character similarly to Oedipus. In the play, Macbeth is of nobility, and experiences an epiphany as a result of his actions.
A tragic hero is defined by Dictionary.com as “a literary character who makes an error of judgment or has a fatal flaw that, combined with fate and external forces, brings on a tragedy”. In the novel Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman has consistently displayed elements that lead the reader to believe that he is a tragic hero whose death is a result of following the wrong dreams. A character must show elements including a fatal flaw, an external force that provokes his downfall, and a fatal event to be considered a tragic hero. Willy’s fatal flaw can be considered his desire to live in the past and his belief that reputation means everything in the business world. His external force is the change in the nature of business: success through reputation no longer holds true, eventually leading to Howard firing Willy.
Willy's two sons, Biff and Happy, are also affected by his flaw. Happy, when in the company of two ladies, claims that Willy is not even his father, and “just a guy” (Miller 91). Later in the play, Biff decides that he does not want to be in his father's life anymore. Biff's problems are simply too much for Willy to handle with his current state of being, even though Willy needs Biff in his life. After both internal and external conflict, Biff reveals to Willy that Willy had been lied to for a number of years, and that the life he lives is essentially a lie (Miller 104).
Failures in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller Arthur Miller develops a number of significant and central themes throughout the play using techniques such as characterization, setting and language. The best explored theme in the play is the theme of failure and disappointments. 'Death of a Salesman' is a modern day play about a salesman, Willy Loman, his life and his failures in a success driven society and world. He is a victim of "The American Dream" destroyed by false promises and ideals. As the play unravels we realize that he more than just a financial failure but also socially, personally and morally.
(Thesis). In the play Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller proves he is America’s social critic when he criticizes Willy’s relationship concerning his family, his lack of success in achieving his goals and his dreams along with his inner turmoil and personal collapse which result in suicide. In the onset of the play, Willy told Linda that you “work a lifetime to pay of a house. You finally own it, and there is nobody to live in it” (Cohn 56). This quote shows how Willy strives his whole life to make a home for his family and by the time he sees the realization of that one dream, his family has drifted apart and he is alone with his haunting thoughts and his ghosts.
The basic conventions of a tragedy begin with the fact that the plot involves a protagonist, desiring something like love, power or wealth but gets blocked from his path of fullfillment by a series of obstacles, and needs to undergo several challenges to reach this, which the protagonist fails to achieve, ultimately failing and destroying him. A standard tragedy has at least one protagonist who plays the role of the tragic hero, someone who holds the position in the world placing him near the top of humanity. The tragic hero is someone the reader empathize or sympathizes with as otherwise the dramatic tragic fall, where they fall from their high social standpoint, would not be as effective. The tragic fall is the outcome of hamartia, the protagonist’s existential frailties or weaknesses. And lastly, a tragedy wouldn’t be a tragedy if it did not have end with some form of alienation, division, wreck, exile or
The author of this play, Arthur Miller, subtitled the play “Certain Private Conversations in Two Acts and a Requiem”. Enotes.com, a website that answers questions on literature, explained this minor detail and said, “A requiem is a ceremony created for someone who has died. Usually that person is a famous or important figure. That would certainly indicate that Miller meant for the play to be a tragic commentary the effect of the American dream of success has on American soci... ... middle of paper ... ...nition of these terms. Arthur Miller, the playwright of Death of a Salesman intended this play to be a tragedy; this is what it should be interpreted as.
A tragedy, as described by the Webster’s dictionary is, “A play, movie, etc., that is serious and has a sad ending, such as the death of the main character”. Similarly, tragic heroes are the main characters who make a judgment error that leads to their own destruction. “Macbeth” which is written by the legendary writer, William Shakespeare, is a true example of a “tragedy”. From the beginning of the play, Macbeth is shown as the great general who has gained much respect from his king and people. However, as a description of the tragic hero by Aristotle, “Hero must be noble in nature, but imperfect so that the audience can see themselves in him.” Throughout the play, Macbeth performs extreme actions and paves his own path to his death.