Death Essay

603 WordsDec 12, 20133 Pages
Essay Prompts for Death of a Salesman 1. Aristotle’s definition of a tragedy is “watching a great man fall.” Pardoning Aristotle’s sexist language for the moment, does Willy Loman’s story fit with this definition? Is Willy Loman a great man, and how does he fall? Was he a doomed tragic hero from the get-go, or could he have been saved, and if so, what would have to have happened differently? 2. What is Willy Loman’s fatal flaw; or, what are all his major faults and flaws? How do they contribute to his downfall? 3. Is Willy a good father, or not? Are Biff and Happy good sons, or good men, or not? Analyze the relationships between Willy, his father (who is talked about, though he never appears in the play), and Willy and his sons, as well as the way they all interact with and treat Linda and other women in the play. 4. How is Willy responsible for the people Biff and Happy have become? What has Willy been taught about life and ‘success,’ what effects do these lessons have on Biff and Happy? Consider the following characters’ ways of achieving success: Ben (Willy’s brother), Willy’s father, Willy’s idol Dave Singleman (Act II), Willy’s old boss Mr. Wagner, Howard Wagner, Linda, Bernard, and Uncle Charley. How did their ideas about success and life affect Willy (even if the only way they affected Willy was that he rejected those ideas) and then Biff and Happy? Consider also: the themes of stealing, ‘personal attractiveness’ and being well-liked, and the way that all the Loman men treat women. 5. Which character in the play is the most heroic, compassionate, sacrificing ...? Who makes the most sacrifices; who tries the hardest to hold the family together? Who in the play is most in touch with reality? Again, remember, when writing any formal essay you must do the following things: Brainstorm and write down examples from the

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