Death of a Salesman and Oedipus Rex

1348 Words Feb 17th, 2018 5 Pages
In Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman’s character refutes Aristotle’s theory, as he is notorious for blinding himself from the truth which appears quite obvious to others around him. As a salesman throughout his life, Willy’s set his life’s goals on materialistic things and ultimately he does not achieve those goals. Distinctly opposite to Willy, Oedipus in the play Oedipus Rex enters life, as a nobleman who inherits his wealth. Although both characters experience a tragic collapse, Oedipus comes to the realization of the tragic event which ultimately leads to his downfall, while Willy never has a moment realization of either his downfall or the reason for it. Through the analysis of Aristotle’s theory of a tragic hero, it is revealed that Oedipus’ character models the characteristics of a tragic hero as well as undergoing anagnorisis, while Willy’s character fails to exemplify these qualities. As part of Aristotle’s theory, there are numerous qualities a character must embody to be regarded as a tragic hero. These qualities include: being born into nobility; agonised by a lapse in their decisions; experienced a downfall; and coming to the realization of personal accountability for their downfall. Aristotle’s theory initially appears to be expressed through both Willy and Oedipus, however with further examination; Oedipus appears to support the title of a tragic…
Open Document