Comparison of Oedipus the King and Death of a Salesman Essay

1025 Words5 Pages
The elements of a play are setting, irony, plot, characters, and theme, which will be discussed in the essay. Oedipus the King opens in a Greek amphitheatre depicting the front of a Theban palace. Throughout the play, the setting remains constant. This changes to a more fast-paced play with different settings in different places in Death of a Salesman. Dramatic irony in Oedipus the King is evident throughout, which is similar to the latter play, but in a different form. In here, the irony is evident. Oedipus the King revolves around characters' attempts to change their destiny (which fails) - Jocasta and Laius's killing of Oedipus and Oedipus's flight from Corinth. Each time somebody tries to avert the future, the audience knows…show more content…
Willy Loman is a troubled and misguided man - a salesman and a dreamer with an extreme preoccupation with his own definition of success. Willy feels that physical impact is greater than the elements of his self-defined success. However, it is apparent that Willy Loman is no successful man, even by the audience's standards. He is still a travelling salesman in his sixties with no stable location or occupation, but clings on to his dreams and ideals. He compares his sons with Bernard, using him as a gauge of success. Nonetheless, he stays in the belief that his sons are better than Bernard. Willy recollects the neighbourhood years ago, and reminisces working for Frank Wagner, although he was also in the same condition then as now. He feels that the older Wagner appreciated him more, yet it was himself who voted Howard in. Arthur Miller presents Willy as a man with great bravado but little energy left to support it. He is always tired and has dementia, contradicting himself in his conversations and showing some memory loss, living in his world of illusions and delusions. He argues with Biff, both men without knowing why. The two sons of Willy display the physical appearance of adulthood, but their talk and attitude displays immaturity. Billy finds that he is a failure because of his lack of `success', while Happy thinks he is unfulfilled because he lacks failure. The plot of Oedipus the King is straightforward, which
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