Tragic Flaw Of Death Of A Salesman

Good Essays
Jackson Emory
Tragic Flaw in Death of a Salesman

Death of a Salesman explores a wide range of topics and ideas, from the American dream to suicide and even carbon monoxide poisoning. But one of the most prevalent ideas explored in the novel is the idea of a Tragic Hero. Willy Loman was known for many things, like being a salesman and committing suicide, to name a few, but most of the people who read Death of a Salesman will know him for being a Tragic Hero. Aspects of a Tragic Hero include Hamartia, Hubris, Anagnorisis, and Catharsis, all of which will be explored throughout this essay. Hamartia is the Tragic flaw that eventually leads to the downfall of a hero. Willy exhibits multiple examples of Tragic Flaws, any of
…show more content…
Natural order is how things are supposed to turn out, and Willy completely ignores this. He cannot accept failure, and will not listen when bad news is presented. He tends to project himself on his sons, trying to force them into his hopes for them, not what their hopes are for themselves. He sees Biff as a strong salesman, while Biff wants to have his own ranch out west. Willy defies reality, and attempts to twist his life into his ultimate fantasy, as a successful businessman with successful sons living in a paid off house with his loving wife, but unfortunately his reality is much bleaker. Willy sees himself as the ultimate salesman and one of the most valuable aspects of his company, and when he goes to talk to Howard to try and get a job closer to home but is fired, he cannot accept that fact and lies to Linda and his sons to try and cover his tracks and change his mindset. Willy’s sense of pride is also a trait of hubris. He is very proud of his family and his few successes, and tries to “sugarcoat” things to other people when the reality is far from good. Even his family seems to have caught on to this trait. For example, when Happy and Biff are waiting for Willy in the restaurant, Happy sees a girl he finds attractive. He calls her over and lies to her about being a champagne salesman. When she compliments his career, he says “Oh, it gets to be like everything else. Selling is selling, y’know?” (101). This is ironic
Get Access