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The Tragic Hero In Death Of A Salesman By Arthur Miller

Decent Essays
“Death of a Salesman” is a play written by Arthur Miller in the late 40’s that depicts the untraditional parts of the American family. The Loman’s were not the typical family that was usually seen in literature during this time period. Willy was a struggling salesman and his two sons were adults with failed careers. The Aristotelian definition of a tragedy is “the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself; in appropriate and pleasurable language;... in a dramatic rather than narrative form; with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish a catharsis of these emotions.” “Death of a Salesman” is a tragedy because Willy Loman, the main character, kills himself at the end of the novel. This is the one “serious” issue that the play focuses on. Another reason the this play is considered a tragedy is because the story is told in a very informal way that makes it very relatable for the reader. A tragic hero is a dramatic character who makes a personal choice that results in his or her downfall. Miller thinks that the “common man” makes the best tragic hero because a hero is someone who “is ready to lay down his life, if need be, to secure one thing-his sense of personal dignity” (Miller). There are plenty of people in modern society who will give up everything to earn their place in society. Even though Willy Loman does not fit the classical model of the tragic hero, Willy Loman is in fact a modern day tragic hero
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