Essay about Tragedy And American Dram The Death Of A Salesman

Essay about Tragedy And American Dram The Death Of A Salesman

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Tragedy and American Drama
As we have learned in the past, the style of literature evolves as time changes. Different events in the world had influenced these changed. The different movements that created its definitions of their work and how we use these definitions today to classify a piece of literature what period it belongs to. The American dramas, The Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller and Glengarry Glen Ross by David Alan Mamet are tragic plays. Analyzing the main character of each drama: Willy of The Death of the Salesman and Shelly of Glengarry Glen Ross will determine if both, neither or one of them possess the features of a tragic hero by the descriptions of Aristotle and Arthur Miller.
According to Aristotle, “A man doesn’t become a hero until he can see the root of his downfall. ” What is the root of the hero’s downfall? This is what Aristotle calls hamartia or flaw (“Tragic”). Willy Loman lives his life in denial, denying that he had failed as a father and failed to have the American dream. He cannot grasp reality causing his delusional psyche. “I see great things for you kids. I think your troubles are over. But remember, start big and you’ll end big. Ask for fifteen (Baym 266).” Willy’s delusional that his son, Biff, will just walk into a previous employer’s office and borrow money to start a business that he has no experience and knowledge about. Willy’s delusion of his son, Biff, being successful in the business caused him to take his life for his family to collect the insurance money and use the money for Biff to start a business. In fact Biff knew what he wanted, to be in the West. “ I’ve always made a point of not wasting my life, and every time I come back here I know that all I’ve done is to wast...


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...death. After Shelly was identified to be one of the culprits of the crime, he desperately pleaded and offered bribe to his boss to be forgiven of his crime and not to face the chance of jail time with no success. “ John: John: … my daughter… (Baym1041).”
To sum up Willy is a tragic hero in Aristotle and Miller’s definition of a hero of a tragedy. Willy attempted to be financially successful to provide for his family, but failed to attain the American dream. He also felt his failure as a father when his sons’, more on Biff, careers were not successful like his own. Willy is classified a tragic hero because he took his life in order to give his family the financial freedom he wasn’t able to provide when he was living. Shelly might not have died in the drama, but his flaw brought him to fall costing his job that provides for daughter and his reputation as person.

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