To begin, Willy’s name is symbolic for not only his place as a common character in defiance of the typical tragic mode, but also as a critique of the American Dre...
... middle of paper ...
... nearly as well known or well liked as he thought he was. Before killing himself, Willy dreams that Biff will be amazed by how many people from how many different places would turn up to mourn him. This is in stark contrast to the actual funeral, which consists entirely of his family and Charley. After their discussion, it doesn’t matter how many people like him, so long as Biff does. Or, rather, now that everyone in his life likes him, he can die happy knowing that he can do one last “big deal” for his son.
In conclusion, Death of a Salesman is not only Arthur Miller’s critique on the crumbling structure of the contemporary American Dream, but also the proof to his theory that the “everyman” can be a tragic character. In America, the idea persists that we are all created equal, and, by this logic, we should thus be endowed with equal ability to incite pathos.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- When tragedy as a genre was first being put to the stage in ancient Greece, it was thought to be the exclusive domain of the rich or powerful. Characters who were able to have a loftier fall from grace were thought of as being more truly “tragic” in the ancient world. Oedipus, one of the most famous tragic figures of that period, was a king by both birth and marriage, which led to his tragic end. This tradition was continued through the works of William Shakespeare, the great playwright and tragedian.... [tags: The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tragic hero]
1265 words (3.6 pages)
- A tragic hero brings his own demise upon himself due to a crippling character flaw. Willy Loman from “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller satisfies the criteria for a tragic hero because his pride leads to his downfall. Despite not being a man of high estate, Willy’s readiness to “lay down his life” (miller criticism) makes him a prime example of a modern tragic hero. Willy’s pride inhibits the success of his family by feeding his egotistical nature, idealism, and false value system. Willy eventually addresses these negative traits he possesses and sacrifices himself for his family, thus satisfying Death of a Salesman as a tragic play.... [tags: pride, downfall, family, idealism, false]
802 words (2.3 pages)
- The idea of dramatic tragedy is a classical one, discussed in Aristotle's Poetics. Before it can be established as to whether Miller really has written a tragedy or not, the very concept of tragedy must be investigated. Aristotle asserted, 'Tragedy is a representation, an imitation, of an action.1. He went on to outline the common features tragic drama must have. Tragedy has six elements, which, in order of importance, are: plot, character, thought, music, language, and spectacle. The plot requires peripeteia, anagnorisis, and cathartic effect.... [tags: Death of a Salesman Essays]
1794 words (5.1 pages)
- Author and Era: Death of a Salesman, the “first great American Tragedy,” is a 1949 play written by American playwright Arthur Miller. Miller is known for being a true activist, supporting and participating in many liberal issues, including the civil rights struggle and the protest against the Vietnam War. The basis for Death of a Salesman lies in Arthur Miller’s relationship with his uncle Manny Newman, a salesman. Miller expresses Manny’s emotions through Willy Loman, the main protagonist. In successfully doing so, Miller has been deemed an American who understands the true nature and values of the United States (Bloom).... [tags: Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller]
1292 words (3.7 pages)
- The American dream is comfort, motivation, reason, obsession, imprisonment and death. There are few that understand it and benefit. And others suffer from its unachievable promise. In the modern era God-controlled nobles are not the only who suffer from considerable flaws. When humans dedicate their lives to chase material objects they unwillingly play the role of a Loman, never a Great man. Every average individual may live twenty four hour long tragedies ripe with pity and fear. It is those very emotions on what “Death of a Salesman” empathizes with.... [tags: Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller, Tragedy, Drama]
1963 words (5.6 pages)
- Death of a Salesman, written by Arthur Miller in 1949, won a Pulitzer Prize and established Miller’s international status. The play conveys issues of social realism and family complications as it explores the life of a man who lives in a fragmented state of reality with unfulfilled hopes and dreams. Arthur Miller’s play raises the question of the significance and value of the American dream by contrasting the two different views of becoming successful; one view believes that hard-work and support will lead to success, while the other relies on popularity, attractiveness, and likability to be successful.... [tags: Arthur Miller, literary analysis]
1535 words (4.4 pages)
- Tragedy and the Common Man - Arthur Miller redefines the Tragic Hero Arthur Miller states in his essay, "Tragedy and the Common Man," " . . . we are often held to be below tragedy--or tragedy below us . . . (tragedy is) fit only for the highly placed . . . and where this admission is not made in so many words it is most often implied." However, Miller believes " . . . the common man is as apt a subject for tragedy in its highest sense as kings were" (1021). It is this belief that causes Miller to use a common man, Willie Loman, as the subject of his tragedy, Death of a Salesman.... [tags: Tragedy and the Common Man Essays]
465 words (1.3 pages)
- In ancient Greece citizens hoped to go unnoticed by the Gods. The Gods played a huge role on what occurred in a citizen’s life. If a prophecy was decided by a God, then there was no altering it. Aristotle believes that this is what makes up a true tragedy. He suggests that tragedy is plot driven, and if the plot is set then there is no way around it. In Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, Oedipus is paying for the sins of his father King Laios. Laios was given horrible future by the Gods for angering them when he rapes another man.... [tags: Arthur Miller, Oedipus Rex, tragic hero]
1241 words (3.5 pages)
- There is no doubt that Shakespeare was a remarkable writer and dramatist in his time, thus entirely explaining why his literature remains relevant in present day English syllabuses. Shakespeare’s most renowned works are commonly those of tragedies, an archetypal plot pattern that consists of universal elements and recognizable structure. Being one of (The Seven Basic Plots) (Booker), it is definitely controversial as to what defines a tragedy and a tragic hero. Aristotle, a Greek philosopher, had determined that “[e]very Tragedy, therefore, must have six parts” (Outline of Aristotle 's Theory of Tragedy).... [tags: Hamlet, Tragic hero, Tragedy, Poetics]
1393 words (4 pages)
- Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman as Epic Tragedy Aristotle's Poetics defines the making of a dramatic or epic tragedy and presents the general principles of the construction of this genre. Surprisingly, over the centuries authors have remained remarkably close to Aristotle's guidelines. Arthur Miller's twentieth century tragedy Death of a Salesman is an example of this adherence to Aristotle's prescription for tragedy. It is significant to test Aristotle's definition and requirements of tragedy by comparison and contrast, against a contemporary tragedy and to make observations with regard to what influence society and culture may have on the genre.... [tags: Death Salesman essays Arthur Miller]
1420 words (4.1 pages)