Death of a Tragedy Essay

1388 WordsAug 30, 20126 Pages
James Doyle April 16 2012 English 1020 Instructor: A. Fitzner Essay 4 Tragic Heros Death of a Tragedy Death of a Salesman is without a doubt a sad story, a relatable one at that, but it is no tragedy. Arthur Miller sought to create an “everyman’s” type of tragic hero, and succeeded in making a rather well written drama, but his “hero” seems to be an inch to short to ride the tragedy rollercoaster. To begin with we have a protagonist, Willy Loman- whom we are supposed to sympathize with, but is too back and forth with one extreme to the other emotionally to connect with on a level deep enough for anyone to feel the catharsis Aristotle believed to be necessary for a proper tragedy. Oedipus, however, is a constant individual that reacts appropriately to his surroundings and his situation. Oedipus for example demonstrates his belief that his word is of the utmost importance when he refuses to move for Lauis on the road, when he accuses Creon of treason, and also when he challenges the gods’ authority by demonstrating his own as King. The pathos of Death of a Salesman comes primarily from the few moments of clarity we see Willie exhibit when he is not fighting with Biff. Willie makes us feel pity for him by showing that he can indeed be a compassionate father when he states things like,”[referring to Biff] Like a young God. Hercules-something like that and the sun, the sun all around him. Remember how he waved to me?”(Miller, 2157). Such words come from a caring father who should never seek to destroy himself or his family. Willie also brings up an interesting idea in his aforementioned statement, that perhaps he may not be our classical Tragic Greek Hero doomed to fail despite all of his efforts, but it may be his son Biff, who is our tragic hero instead. Even if we dismiss the idea of nobility being a key role in being a tragic hero, Biff doesn’t quite

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