Death of a Salesman & Oedipus the King

1782 WordsFeb 18, 20028 Pages
An overwhelming desire for personal contentment and unprecedented reputation can often result in a sickly twisted distortion of reality. In Sophocles' Oedipus the King, a man well-known for his intellect and wisdom finds himself blind to the truth of h life and his parentage. Arthur Miller's play, The Death of a Salesman, tells of a tragic character so wrapped up in his delusional world that reality and illusion fuse causing an internal explosion that leads to his undoing. Each play enacts the strugg of a man attempting to come to grips with his harsh reality and leaving behind his comfortable fantasy world. In the end, no man can escape the truth no matter how hard he may fight. In choosing the fragility of illusion over the stability…show more content…
The extreme to which Willy takes this illusion causes him to create his own reality where he, "knock[s] 'em cold in Providence," and "slaughter[s] 'em in Boston" and where "five hundred gross in Providence" becomes "r ghly two hundred gross on the whole trip" (33). Willy, it seems, lives to please other people, especially his sons Biff and Happy, by way of his successes in numerous areas. Willy constantly brags about his successes in his business, his family life, an his finances, to anyone that will take a moment to listen. Willy wholeheartedly maintains this fantasy life until the company he works for tells him that "they no longer want him to represent them" (83). Only at this time does Willy begin to see the tru of his overwhelming failure in life. Willy searches for happiness not only through his illusions but through having an affair with a young woman who tells him, "you do make me laugh...you're such a wonderful man" (38). This woman tells Willy everything e wants to hear but nobody will say about him. When Biff discovers Willy with this woman in a hotel, he realizes the truth about him and his family, that they have lived their entire lives hiding from reality and shielding one another in their fight to asp illusion. Despite Willy and
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