Willy Loman a Tragic Character essays

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Willy Loman a Tragic Character essays

Playwright Arthur Miller wrote the tragic play "Death of a Salesman", and in the story, the main character supports the qualities of a modern tragic hero. According to Arthur Miller's ideas and theories of the characteristics of a tragic character, Willy Loman is a tragic character. This is because Willy Loman has the following attributes: a tragic character is presented as a victim of society or in other words a common man; where "a sense of triumph is evident even if the character dies – someone benefits" (A. Miller as per lecture: ENG4U1 07/12/04) and a tragic flaw which leads to Willy Loman's downfall.
In classical tragedy, it is said that tragic heroes are usually someone of high status but in modern tragedies Arthur Miller "believes that the common man is an apt a subject for tragedy in its highest sense as kings were" (A. Miller as per lecture: ENG4U1, 07/12/04). Also the Qualities of a Tragic Hero states that the "Character is usually presented as a victim of society" (A. Miller as per lecture: ENG4U1, 07/12/04). In the play, Willy Loman is a common man and is a victim of society becausefirst of all, he is just an old salesman who is pretty unsuccessful in selling "Willy Loman the salesman enters, carrying two large sample cases" (Miller, Act 1 p. 12). His job is considered to be a blue collared job which proves that it is a common job that anyone can have, as opposed to being a Governor who is of higher status. He is a victim because he is controlled and takes orders from Howard, who is of higher status then him. Therefore Howard symbolizes the "society" where Willy fall victim to and this is a major effect on Willy when he is fired "I think you need a good long rest, Willy." (Miller, Act 2 p. 83) Another point is that Miller has already indirectly indicated that Willy is not of higher status with his last name "Loman-Low man"…

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