A Hapless Hero

1298 Words6 Pages
A Hapless Hero Arthur Miller demonstrated in Death of a Salesman that tragic heroism still possible in the modern world, but the tragic hero or tragic heroine should be of noble birth or hold an important social position, be basically virtuous, and desire to do good. However, Wily Loman is not a tragic hero because he is hapless rather than heroic, his personal tragedy that comes from his lack in ability to admit his errors and learn from them. Instead, he fits Miller's description of the pathetic character, one who "by virtue of his witlessness, his insensitivity, or the very air he gives off, is incapable of grappling with a much superior force," (Miller1). The definition of a tragic hero is a condition of life that allows an individual to find the route of self-realization and discover to the fullest extent of his or her capabilities. This insight only occurs when an individual bravely endure the "total examination of the 'unchangeable' environment" (Miller1). From this test, comes the fear associated with tragedy, as the individual is faced with the belief of his rightful dignity in society as contradicted to the dignity given to him by the society. Only a tragic hero is ready to die to affirm his dignity, this imbues them with heroism because of their "unwillingness to remain passive in the face of what conceive to be a challenge to dignity, image of rightful status," (Miller1). Thus, one is only flawless when they are peaceful in the midst of the struggle. Willy Loman passed his life without much thought what the cause and effects are co. He is so deluded of not being somebody and where he stands in the society, that he cannot let go of his delusions and clings to them until his demise. Nevertheless, this is not due to the fact that he is like any other ordinary man. It is because he is a man who lacks conviction and strength to move past

More about A Hapless Hero

Open Document