Essay, Research Paper: Death Of Salesman By Miller

Literature: Arthur Miller

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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. Through out 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 sever
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 with out 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 mad 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 dinning 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 with out 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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