In “Death of a Salesman”, Willy Loman is a perfect example of a modern day tragic flaw. His major flaw centers on the perception contradiction that is found in reality vs. fantasy. His reality is that he is a failure and not as famous as he is portrayed. His fantasy is that he is living the American dream or at least close to it. Willy’s reality was a failure because all he wanted was the attention from everyone.
Be liked and you will never want.” (Miller 1777; act I). By this statement, Miller is conveying the very essence to the downfall of Willy Loman. Just the idea itself of never wanting anything besides to be liked is the epitome of destruction to a man’s heart and ambitions. The ambition of working to get ahead drives Willy wanting to be more and more ahead to the point of unattainable measures causing a breakdown. The next dominate theme is the complex relationship between Biff and Willy; the passive aggressive fighting and the love that resides underneath the surface of the pair’s relationship plays an imperative role in Willy’s life.
Hence, Friar Lawrence is partially to blame for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, as his negligence resulted in the tragedy. Due to Juliet’s marriage with Paris being moved to a closer date, Friar Lawrence devised a dangerous and drastic plan, to avoid the marriage. Juliet, drowning in desperation, willingly accepts. Her desperation is evident when she states “If in thy wisdom thou canst give no help … with this knife I’ll help it presently”. Friar Lawrence is partly to blame for the death of the “ill-fated lovers”, as this plan is too dangerous to undergo, and he also does not fulfil his duty.
The character of Edmund in Shakespeare’s King Lear a complex antagonist whose quest for power, and the treatment he deserves from society fuels the subplot. Cunning, deceitful, and a villain, Edmund will do whatever it takes to achieve his objectives, even if it means betraying the people who love him most. Edmund plays a key role in setting the stage for the disaster waiting to unfold, which is the subplot. Initially, the audience sympathizes with Edmund’s character; society treats him poorly, and his own father publicly embarrasses him. In Act 1 Scene 1, when Kent asks Gloucester if Edmund is his Gloucester’s son, he replies “his breeding hath been at my charge” (1.1.9) yet Gloucester “blushed to acknowledge [Edmund]” (1.1.10).
The fantasized escape that runs counter to the actual execution in the story mirrors the gap between who Farquhar actually is and who he would like to be. In his world of illusion, he is able to outwit his captors and make it back to the family fold—whereas the reality of his situation is much more grim. Farquhar’s overindulgence of fantasy in both his image of himself and his reimagining of his fate ultimately undoes him. He cannot realize his desires in the real world, and at the end of his life, he is prey to the same delusions and misinterpretations that led him to the gallows to begin with. Farquhar’s Wife Farquhar’s wife emerges as an embodiment of innocence and domestic safety, although throughout the story, she is an almost entirely imagined presence.
While that may have been the final contribution to his death, his tragic flaw is what is shown throughout the play. This flaw can be plainly stated as Romeo being far too impulsive. He seems to be driven by the idea of fate, and does not thoroughly think about his decisions. His character in the play thinks of life and love as such a quick thing, as if he is thinking to himself that if he doesn’t go with his instincts, his life will not be decent or respectable. When truthfully, these instincts are the origin of his dire choices, resulting in the end of his life.
This is where the audience finds out about Willy not only betraying Linda, but Biff as well, "You fake! You phony little fake!" (121). Biff's anger after seeing his father cheat made him lose all his hopes and dreams. Moreover, Willy tries not to blame himself for Biff's failure in life, "Don't blame everything on me!
In "Death of a salesman" by Arthur Miller, Willy Loman plays a character with characteristics that haunt people of modern America. His delusions fused with his superficial views of life is a concoction for the downfall of himself, and his sons Biff, and Happy. Willy Loman is delusional about how to be successful, and how to live a successful life. Willy displays his delusions in many ways, for example: personal attractiveness and charisma outweigh hard work and dedication. Bernard reveals to Willy that Biff is going to fail his class if he doesn't "Buckle down" and begin to study, to Bernard's astonishment and dismay, Willy responds by saying to Linda: "There’s nothing the matter with him!
As he is a product of the Romantic value of egocentrism; he is blind to the consequences of his overwhelming desire to be omnipotent and is driven to discover the “secret of life”. To Victor, this secret is a metaphor for life yet ironically, it is his lack of communication that results in the immoral execution of Justine. Shelley echoes his blindness through the symbolism of light as enlightenment, stating that this ‘secret’ will bring a “torrent of light into our dark world” (page 55). Similarly, the recurring motifs of eyes in Blade Runner are symbolic of knowledge and perception. In the opening scenes, the extreme close-up of the eyes with blazing fires foreshadows the concept of dangerous knowledge.
This can include a home, a career or a lifestyle. Reality is a state of something being actual or true and it often does not live up to the dreams people hold. Arthur Miller explores and contrasts these two elements throughout Death of a Salesman using various characters. Daydreams, fantasies and past memories are utilised as a mechanism to show the differences between realistic dreams and the dreams that can destroy a soul. In this essay, I am going to discuss the contrasts of Miller’s use of dream and reality throughout the Death of a Salesman.