Treatment of Willy Loman as a Tragic Hero:

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Treatment of Willy Loman as a Tragic Hero:
Death of a Salesman, Miller’s most famous work, while addressing the painful conflicts within one family, tackles larger issues regarding American national values. The play examines the cost of blind faith in the American Dream. In this respect, it offers a postwar American reading of personal tragedy in the tradition of Sophocles’ Oedipus Cycle. Miller charges America with selling a false myth constructed around a capitalist materialism nurtured by the postwar economy, a materialism that obscured the personal truth and moral vision of the original American Dream described by the country’s founders.
The tone of Miller’s stage directions and dialogue ranges from sincere to parodying, but, in general, the treatment is tender, though at times brutally honest, towards the protagonist’s plight. The ‘American Dream’, ‘abandonment’ and ‘betrayal’ also work as important themes within the play. Many critics describe Death of a Salesman as the first great American tragedy, and Miller gained eminence as a man who understood the deep essence of the United States.
After World War II, the United States faced profound and irreconcilable domestic tensions and contradictions. Uneasy with this American milieu of denial and discord, a new generation of artists and writers influenced by existentialist philosophy and the hypocritical postwar condition took up arms in a battle for self-realization and expression of personal meaning. Richard Eyre says, "…Each scene of Death of a Salesman is charged with feeling and theatrical energy; it's the parable of 20th century America, an indelible part of the American landscape.”
(Richard Eyre, “An Englishman Explores the Work of Arthur Miller,” talk given at the Guthrie
Theater, July 11, 2001). The notions of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung regarding the role of the human subconscious in defining and
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