Of A Salesman Tragic Hero Essay

Millers message is that those who are honest and true to themselves, rather than succumbing to conformity from the pressures of society, are the ones who will reach true happiness and contentment, whereby their souls are set free to the spirit of enlightenment.Death of a Salesman touches on contemporary struggles such as the unreasonable pressure to conform to material and social success.The question of why Willy commits suicide is of course central.

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The blight of his own confusion is visited upon them.

His final attempt to make a legacy for Biff and Happy is his suicide, which he feels will earn the $20,000 of his insurance policy Willy wants to make an impression, to be remembered after his death, to "give something" to Biff and Happy, and his inability to do any of these haunts him.

It also shows the inevitable movement toward death of the protagonist with growing self-awareness, the single story without subplots and a clear beginning, middle and end, and the unity of time, as Death of a Salesman takes place within the course of about twenty-four hours.

Miller is adamant that Death of a salesman has many elements that allow it to qualify as a Greek tragedy but, he is more concerned with the idea of modern tragedy and how Willy Loman is a tragic hero in modern society Though he is a common man or a Low-man as his name suggests, Willy was described by Miller as "a very brave spirit who cannot settle for half but must pursue his dream of himself to the end." Though Willy did not have great intellectual powers, the first of Aristotle's qualities, he did experience self-awareness- otherwise he would not have killed himself when he realised his life was meaningless.

The forces that drove Willy to kill himself were perhaps; escape, from the empty and bitter reality of his life; revenge, for his sons' disrespect and resentment; power, in taking action when everything seems hopeless; courage, to lay down his life; victory, finally being able to make a profitable deal, and, by redeeming his life insurance policy, giving his son a fortune, understanding, that he went wrong, this is the true realisation and is similar to King Lear at his death with Cordelia.

So Willy Loman wreaks havoc on his own life and on that of his sons.

Some critics consider that whether Death of a Salesman is a tragedy or not is debatable on all four sections, while others think the play meets all these criteria.

When Arthur Miller began reading plays in college, Greek tragedies made a profound impression on him.

The play depicted over two Acts and Requiem, takes the audience on an emotional journey of a confused and 'lost' lo-man on the tragic road to suicide.

Willy Loman battles with the reality and imagery of the Capitalist American Dream.


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