Essay Death of a Salesman, Tragic Hero. Willy Loman.

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To what extent can Willy Loman be considered a tragic hero according to Aristotle’s rules?

Arthur Miller presents his play ‘Death of a Salesman’ in the ancient form of a tragedy. Aristotle has defined his idea of the ‘perfect’ tragedy in his text, ‘Poetics’ (350 BC).Here he suggests that the protagonist must fall from an elevated social standing as a result of a “fatal flaw” within the character; the fall from the main character creates resolution to the play which is seen as just; finally, Aristotle identified that the action of the drama should take place within a 24hour timeframe. An ancient play which is believed to be the perfect tragedy is Oedipus Rex by Sophocles. ‘Death of a Salesman’ is definitely a tragic play, but is Willy
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At age 63 he still believes he is popular, respected and good looking which Linda, his wife, encourages throughout the play. Statements such as “you’re the best looking man in the world” which supports his false beliefs. His unpopularity can be seen within the requiem when few people turned up to his funeral besides his close family who love him, all of which he pushed away including Linda, who he deceived.
Willy also obtains an idea that image is equal to success. This is known to be his hubris; excessive pride. He takes pride in material objects “Riding on a smile and a shoe shine… personality wins the day” shows how he puts his faith into his personal appearance, and how he appears to smile on the outside but fails to admit that he isn’t on the inside. He thinks personality can be judged on what he says, but forgets that it ‘shines’ through when he speaks. “I won’t have you mending stockings in this house! Now throw them out”. The stockings can be seen as a representative of Loman’s unfaithfulness as a husband as the sight of them brings back memories of when Biff caught him cheating on Linda and found out the Willy had given ‘the woman’ the expensive stockings he was supposed to give his wife as a gift. Willy Loman’s reasoning behind doing this may be because he didn’t want to come across as ‘low’ to his mistress, so by giving her expensive stockings out of the blue it
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