Eisinger, Chester E. "CRITICAL READINGS: Focus On Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman: The Wrong Dreams." Critical Insights: Death Of A Salesman (2010): 93-105. Literary Reference Center. Web. 2 Feb. 2014.
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.
He states that “ the tragic feeling is evoked in us when we are in the presence of a character who is ready to lay down his life, if need be, to secure one thing – his sense of personal dignity” (3). The common man, Willy Loman, is believed by Miller to be the subject of his modern tragedy. In short, Miller has recreated the Aristotelian tragic figure with a modern twist. The connotation of a tragic hero, according to Aristotle, was in character’s fall that could have been avoided due to the “inadequate” knowledge. Miller, on the other hand, took a challenge to demonstrate tragic plays for the common people to relate.
Winnie Zhong 2/13/2014 English 10 Dr. Lupardo Death of a Salesman Death of a Salesman, written by Arthur Miller in 1949, is a play attempts to identify and validate the “tragic flaw” of a common man. It is a tragedy describing the consequences arose between a family’s American dream and the reality of their lives. Willy Loman, the main character, is bought into an extreme obsession of the American Dream or the success in becoming a “well liked” salesman. However, after having done everything in order to achieve and live the dream, Willy Loman fails to receive the success promised by it. Throughout the play, the most important reason causing Willy’s failure in achieving his goal seems to be his own inability to recognize the unpleasant reality while continually living in a slanted fantasy that his mind has created.
Willy definitely does not meet this criterion. When Willy is terminated from his job late in the story, Charley offers him a job working for him, but feeling too much pride, Willy turns it down, saying he's already got a job. He turns down a chance to make a decent means to finish paying off his house and refrigerator, but turns it down because of his stubborn pride. A tragic hero must have a mix of both good and bad qualities, predominantly good, so that they are more of a character that readers could relate ... ... middle of paper ... ...Sons in which the main characters are somewhat like tragic heroes but lack the high standing. They are all just common people, which might lead to the idea that Arthur Miller tried to create a mold for an American tragic hero.
Thompson, Terry W. “Miller’s Death of a Salesman. The Explicator 63.4 (2005). Academic OneFile. Web. 17 Apr.
23 Apr. 2014. http://shmpoo.com/death-of-a-salesman/respect-reputation-quotes-2.html "SparkNotes: Death of a Salesman: important quotations Explained ." SparkNotes . N.p., n.d. Web.
Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman follows protagonist Willy Loman in his search to better his and his family’s lives. Throughout Willy Loman’s career, his mind starts to wear down, causing predicaments between his wife, two sons and close friends. Willy’s descent into insanity is slowly but surely is taking its toll on him, his job and his family. They cannot understand why the man they have trusted for support all these years is suddenly losing his mind. Along with his slope into insanity, Willy’s actions become more aggressive and odd as the play goes on.
Willy Loman is a failing salesman recently demoted to commission and unable to pay his bills. He is married to a woman by the name of Linda and has two sons, Biff and Happy. Throughout this play Willy is plagued incessantly with his and his son’s inability to succeed in life. Willy believes that any “well-liked” and “personally attractive man” should be able to rise to the top of the business world. However, despite his strong attempts at raising perfect sons and being the perfect salesman, his attempts were futile.
Web. 17 Feb. 2014. Shmoop Editorial Team. "Death of a Salesman Respect and Reputation Quotes Page 1."Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008.