Literary Analysis: Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” – A Tragedy? Essay

Literary Analysis: Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” – A Tragedy? Essay

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What is man’s focus in life? What is man’s purpose in life? Is it materialism and/or the prospect of how others may view him? Should man put their trust in God’s Word the Bible or leave it up to himself? In “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller, but is it correct to define this theatric drama as a tragedy.

According to Klaas Tindemans, “Aristotle’s concept of tragedy has been perceived as both a descriptive and a normative concept: a description of a practice as it should be continued” therefore, Aristotle’s definition of tragedy could be considered complex. On the other hand, according to Tony Hunt in “The Tragedy of Roland”, “in the Poetics Aristotle is particularly concerned with capturing the essence of tragedy and its effects. The ergon and teleos of drama, he declares, is its specific pleasure, and this pleasure I identify with what we may call tragic emotion”. However, was the essence of tragedy and effects captured in “Death of a Salesman”? The following paragraphs will try to explain whether “Death of a Salesman” is a tragedy.

In the dramatic play, “Death of a Salesman” which is about a man that is somewhat self-delusional about being successful salesman with a lot of money. He is very prideful and refuses to come to the realization that not everything is okay. He has worked all of his life, but now that he is in the later stages of life, tired, and cannot retire because he has to continue to work in order to pay his bills. This situation is traumatic to say the least.

“Death of a Salesman” is indeed loaded with unfortunate events with an ultimate sad outcome. Willy Loman’s pride and unrealistic dreams has gotten the better of him. He somehow believes that he is a very important salesman, making a l...


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...n=NLT
Encarta World English Dictionary [North American Edition] 14 Dec 2009.
Microsoft Corp. http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_/catharsis.html
Hunt, Tony "THE TRAGEDY OF ROLAND: AN ARISTOTELIAN VIEW." Modern
Language Review 74.4 (1979): 791-805. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 20 Dec. 2009. http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=17540659&site=ehost-live&scope=site
Miller, Arthur. “Death of a Salesman.” Perrine’s Literature, Structure, Sound
and Sense, 10th edition (2009): 1449 -1530. Print.
Tindemans, Klaas "The Politics of the Poetics: Aristotle and Drama Theory in
17th Century France." Foundations of Science 13.3/4 (2008): 325-336. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 18 Dec. 2009.
http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=34227653&site=ehost-live&scope=site

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