In the first B.C dramatist known as Aristotle started to write a series of plays called the tragedies. They were as follows: the play revolved around a great man, such as a king or war hero, who had a tragic flaw. This flaw would eventually become his downfall and he would fall from his glory. In the case of obvious it was his hubris; and Oedipus, his pride and curiosity. Throughout the play the hero has many opportunities to overcome his mistakes. On the other side, the reason that his nature he sarcomas to it and deals with a severe punishment. Even though these types of plays are still written today most authors have varied their loom of writing a tragedy. An example is Author Miller. He attempts to illustrate the misfortune in the common man; he shows this in “Death to a Salesman.” According to Arthur Miller, “the tragic feeling is evoked in us when we are in the presence of a character who ready to put his life aside, if necessary, to secure one thing – his sense of personal dignity.” (Tragedy and the Common Man p.1) He is saying in this quotation is that even that the common man can even be tragic because occasionally the one thing that she prizes the most, his sense of self-dignity, can be so jaded that he will sacrifice his own life to secure this dignity.

In “Death to a Salesman”, Arthur Miller successfully shows that you do not have to be someone important or king to show that. The classical model of a tragedy is that of someone of a high position contains superior qualities such as leadership for instance a king. However the hero always has a flaw, which may be an excess of one of these qualities such as hubris. This hero while trying to accomplish a goal such as a quest will eventually be dealt punishment, which is usually death. One could argue that not only Aristotle’s definition of tragedy is true but that there can be many different kinds of tragedies. From the tragedy of a common man to that of a family or group of people. In opposition to Aristotle’s view one could argue that any type of man could show tragic qualities, no matter what social environment the man comes from. The hero could range from a highly intellectual and educated man with great potential but whose flaw is lack of motivation, to a crack addict living on the street who refuses to enter rehab. The fate of people such as this might not be as appalling as death; however may be economic failure or social rejection. It the play “Death to a Salesman” there is elements to a tragic man by his way of commonness. Willy Loman is in the low social position but it seems to act like he is king of the world. Family believes that he is the heron in the world and they would be nothing without him. But he is only an agitated sales man. “In the greatest country of the world a young man with such attractiveness, gets lost.” (Page 16 Death to a Salesman) He also shows qualities of a tragic hero. Arthur Miller a tragic man would rather die than to face losing his dignity. “I think the tragic feeling is evoked in us when we are in the presence of a character who is ready to lay down his life.” (Para. 4, Arthur Miller) Willy was ready to throw his life away to be a well-liked man and successful being. His weakness was he was not able to be as successful as he wanted to so he faked it. He made him self-out to be top dog but in the end his fate was that he was a nobody or an average Joe. He pictures as he prepares for suicide that lots of salesman are coming to his funeral but it’s false. Willy might maybe a common man who is nothing more than a visionary and a liar, but he is still pictured a tragic hero. He even thought manual labor manual labor wasn’t civilized enough for people yet he was proud of the ceiling he put in the dining room, which was manual labor. He shows there that he is a hypocrite.

He makes his family believe that if you are well liked in life you will go far without working hard. “They look at him through his own eyes because he has blinded their own.” (B.K.M) He wants to be a well-known man at home around the world in other countries, which is impossible. Because of Willy’s view and action he could be used as the perfect tragic hero. “But there among is today, as there always have been, those who act against the scheme of things that degrades them, and in the process of action everything we have excepted out of fear or intensity or ignorance is shaken before us and examined…” (1st paragraph Arthur Miller) Many people may put “Death to a Salesman” as a boring and non-tragic piece, but Arthur Miller disagrees and says it is one of the best tragic examples written. It is about the common man who in his own eyes and his family’s is the one of the greatest being in the world. Yet the great Aristotle disagrees and says that tragic pieces most conclude of a serious story with a great man. In the story Willy was serious in his own ways with his on ways. So according to both these men Aristotle and Arthur Miller the play “Death to a Salesman” was a tragedy.

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William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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