Tragedy, like comedy, is in the eyes of the beholder and what makes a particular fictional character more tragic than another can be argued until the end of time. However, despite this, it seems that an undeniable part of what makes a character tragic is their ability to save themselves from their predicament but, for whatever reason, refuse to do so, thus damning themselves to their wretched fate. Likewise, the more obvious this ability, the more control that a character has over their fate, the more tragic their eventual downfall. Moreover, coupled with the preventable nature of the character’s tragic fate, is this fate’s unpredictability, which causes the audience to, even until the very end, have hope that the tragic character will triumph over their predicament. Furthermore, this is all merged with the ultimate insignificance of the tragic character’s demise and how, despite all their struggles, they are eventually rendered wholly irrelevant and forgotten. Hence, the most tragic of the three protagonists studied is Jay Gatsby because his final fate, compared to that of Willy Loman’s or Macbeth’s is the most unpredictable, had the least impact on society, and, ultimately, was the most avoidable. Unpredictability is key to tragedy. Likewise, both Willy and Macbeth, when compared to Gatsby, severely lack this aspect. For Macbeth, at the start of the play, the use of pathetic fallacy, as well as the direct proclamation of an eventual meeting with three malevolent witches
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In order to gain a proper perspective on the concept of what a tragic hero is, we must synthesize information from the following play’s, “The Death Of A Salesman”, and “Oedipus The King”. Both plays takes the stance on the idea that validates the ultimate notion, “tragic hero. From Willy’s hubris personality to his questionable and mysterious death, to Oedipus dynamic and complex choices and kingly personality that determines his fate. A tragic hero is a literary character who makes a judgement that leads to his/her downfall. In other words, even though both characters made incredible contributions and left a very noble legacy, their choices and decisions determined their ultimate fate. In today’s world tragic heroes are commonly present,
In the text, The Great Gatsby, the author, F. Scott Fitzgerald leads us to sympathize with the central character of the text, Jay Gatsby. Fitzgerald evokes our sympathy using non-linear narrative and extended flashbacks as well as imagery, characterization and theme. Through these mediums, Fitzgerald is able to reveal Gatsby as a character who is in an unrelenting pursuit of an unattainable dream. While narrative and imagery reveal him to be a mysterious character, Gatsby's flaw is his ultimate dream which makes him a tragic figure and one with which we sympathize.
According to Aristotle, a tragic hero character can be defined to be of noble status, but not necessarily virtuous. There is some aspect of his personality that he has in great abundance but it is this that becomes his tragic flaw and leads to his ultimate demise. However, his tragic ending should not simply sadden the reader, but teach him or her a life lesson. In The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jay Gatsby is the tragic hero who portrays the corruption of the American dream through his tragic flaw. His devastating death at the end of the novel portrays the dangers of centering one’s life on money and other materialistic things and warns the reader not to follow his foolish steps. Jay Gatsby is the epitome of a tragic hero; his
Literature utilizes the readers’ need to connect with a character. More often than not, with authors making their characters relatable in one sense or another that could be transferred into multiple stories. This idea of relatability is the core of the tragic hero, a trope used often in literature including in stories such as Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Shakespeare's Othello, and August Wilson’s Fences. Each from different years, authors, and genres, yet each utilizing the tragic hero to further their individual themes through depicting the greatness of a godlike man and his fall to lowest points within humanity.
Before we can judge if Jay Gatsby is a tragic hero, we should look at the exact deﬁnition of a tragic hero. According to the classic deﬁnition, a tragic hero is a «great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy who is destined for downfall, suffering, or defeat»1, and Oedipus, from the Greek Legends, is deﬁned as the classic tragic hero.
Within Shakespeare’s King Lear and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the following human flaws are explored: obsession, greed, yearning, and loss. These flaws are a commonality between these two characters. Although these flaws are standard for many characters among many genres, they are unique only to Lear and Gatsby because they lead to their death. Lear and Gatsby share a dream of power and love, but this dream slowly becomes an unhealthy obsession. King Lear is so blinded by his love for his daughters that he does not see that they are only using him for his wealth. Jay Gatsby shares a mutual experience; he is oblivious to Daisy Buchanan’s materialistic and selfish ways and is helpless to her charms. In Act Two of King Lear, the Fool tells the King “...fathers that bear bags shall see their children kind.” (2.4 49-50), a premonition that clearly illustrates how Lear’s daughters love him only for his riches. Both men are bound by their mutual suffering caused by the women that dominate their lives. It is obvious in The Great Gatsby that Daisy Buchanan is a woman who only has eyes for powerful men and when she realizes that Gatsby is a self-made millionaire, she casts him aside. The same occurs in King Lear; Goneril and Regan only proclaim to love their
A possible theme for Oedipus the King by Sophocles is that one’s blindness can hide the inevitability that is his destiny. Oedipus is in this situation. He struggles to escape his fate: killing his father and marrying his mother and believes he is successful. Sophocles believes that the gpds control one’s destiny and the inevitability that a person will do what is destined despite there hero’s intentions.Oedipus represent the standards of a true tragic hero: he is well known, basically good, his punishment is out of proportion compared to his crime, the audience at some point feels sorrow and pity for him, and Oedipus has a tragic flaw. During the whole story Oedipus thinks that he may be able to change his fate a live life how he wants but he falls to that which is his destiny.For these reason Oedipus is truly an example of a tragic hero and is unable to avoid his tragic fate.
Arthur Miller’s play Death of A Salesman demonstrates the life of a man facing troubles within himself and society. A tragedy is the imitation of an action that arouses fear and pity. This play could be considered a tragedy because it depicts the downfall of a perfect family and outlines the deterioration of a man’s life. A tragic hero, as defined by Aristotle, is someone who exemplifies great importance or heroic qualities; however, Arthur Miller views the tragic hero as someone who struggles heroically with life. Using Arthur Miller’s definition, it can be determined that Willy Loman is a tragic hero. Even though Willy Loman does not fit the classical view of a tragic hero, he is in fact a modern day tragic hero because of his error in judgment, a reversal of fortune, and his excessive pride.
Tragicomedies, a type of writing or play, has been around for thousands of years. Much Ado About Nothing, a drama written by playwright William Shakespeare, exemplifies compelling characteristics that show up in tragicomedies. A few of the work’s character’s, such as Hero, Beatrice, Benedick, Dogberry, Don Pedro, and Claudio, provide multiple examples of what a tragicomedy has to offer. Shakespeare’s drama Much Ado About Nothing is both a comedy and a tragedy due to Dogberry’s monologue, Hero’s exposure of her unfaithfulness, and Beatrice and Benedick’s love.
William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet continues to be one of the most compelling tragedies ever written inspiring many adaptations, most notably Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 adaptation Romeo + Juliet. Unlike most genres, tragedy is constricting, and a work must adhere to certain guidelines to be considered a true tragedy. Such is the case with Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, which, while it is fundamental with the text, ends up as a stylized attempt at tragedy thwarted by editorial choices. According to Aristotle’s Poetics, a tragedy is the fall of a great person due to a tragic flaw and the mistakes that come of it, which in turn encourages catharsis, or emotional purging in the audience. It is of epic scope and the downfall of the hero is
To begin,in any tragedy,a common man also qualifies for tragedy just as any other noble man because all people value their personal dignity. As seen in the play ''Death Of a Salesman'',Willy Loman, the protagonist of the story realizes that he feels defeated by his lack of success and difficulty of family when he doesn’t achieve that ''American Dream''.
The tragedies Hamlet, Oedipus the King, and Death of a Salesman have strikingly different plots and characters; however, each play shares common elements in its resolution. The events in the plays’ closings derive from a tragic flaw possessed by the protagonist in each play. The downfall of each protagonist is caused by his inability to effectively cope with his tragic flaw. The various similarities in the closing of each play include elements of the plot, the reflection of other characters on the misfortune of the tragic hero, and expression of important themes through the dialogue of the characters.
According to Aristotle’s theory of tragedy, tragedies are best equipped to be based on a protagonist that is renowned and prosperous, so his good fortune can be dramatically changed. In contrast, Arthur Miller’s essay “Tragedy and the Common Man” states “that the common man is as apt a subject for tragedy in its highest sense as kings ever were.” He proves in his modern essay that the characteristics and emotions of the common man and the highly placed are entitled to be similar. Miller even identifies emotions of a average person and how they result in a better tragedy than those who are highly ranked. In his play “Death of Salesman” he demonstrates that the normal life of a sales man can still make for a great tragedy and that his protagonist, Willy Loman, is worthy of a tragedy.
It is known that in literature, a tragedy is one of the most popular genres. It always combines some story which discusses human sufferings with a certain sense of audience fulfillment. The roots of the tragedy are related to ancient Greece. A Greek tragedy is a sad story, which represents a character with a tragic flaw leading to his downfall. In addition, in traditional tragedy, the main character falls from high authority and often it is predetermined by fate, while the audience experiences catharsis (Irving 247). Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman is considered to be a tragedy because this literary work has some of the main characteristics of the tragedy genre. In this play, the main character Willy Loman possesses such traits and behaviors that lead to his downfall, and the audience experiences catharsis. Willy Loman as a real tragic hero comes to the decision to commit suicide because of serious financial problems of his family (Moseley). This play has already been criticized by a number of literary critics who represented different opinions on the plot of the book. The major goal of this paper is to critically evaluate the play Death of a Salesman written by the well-known American writer Arthur Miller, paying special attention to the play’s characteristics of a tragedy.