Oedipus And Death Of A Essay

Length: 3 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Literature Type: Essay Paper: #66365012 Related Topics: Death Of A Salesman, Oedipus The King, King Arthur, Arthur Miller
Excerpt from Essay :

i.148-9) his actions will cause, Oedipus sits in oblivion. He refuses to listen to his wife and brazenly tells her, "I will not listen; the truth must be made known" (II.iii.146). Iocaste morphs from being Oedipus' wife to his enemy because she is speaking words he does not want to hear. He tells her:

The Queen, like a woman, is perhaps ashamed

To think of my low origin. But I

Am a child of luck; I cannot be dishonored . . .

How could I wish that I were someone else?

How could I not be glad to know my birth? (II.iii.159-60, 164-5)

Oedipus' bad choice begins with arrogance and ends with isolation.

Like Oedipus, Willy makes poor choices. He is blind like Oedipus because he does not see things as they actually are. He lives in a fantasy world and tells himself and his family lies in order to stay within that world. Telling and believing lies about himself is easier than admitting there is a problem and doing something about it. After years of no success at his job, he believes he can "knock Howard for a loop" (Miller II.1070-1) and "get an advance, and I'll come home with a New York job" (II.1071). Oedipus is successful enough to allow himself to fall victim to his arrogance and selfish way of thinking. Willy, however, is living in a dream world as a means of surviving in the rat race. He does not have what it takes to pass muster but he does not know what else to do. Willy and Oedipus only make things more difficult for themselves. Willy does not admit to making any mistakes so he does not have to amend them. Even when it comes to asking Charley for


He would rather ask for a loan than work for Charley. Willy is standing in his own way throughout most of the play and, unlike Oedipus, he does not realize his mistake.

Oedipus and Death of a Salesman represent the basic frailties of man in two vastly different societies. What we realize with these two men is how mankind does not actually change much over time. We see how society changes with the advent of technology and moral codes but the human race operates with the same motives regardless of clocks or calendars. Oedipus and Willy are two men that need the truth: one desperately wants it while the other is running from it. Both men are blinded because of what they want. They demonstrate how little we change -- even when we think we have evolved to the point of near perfection.

Work Cited

Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. An Introduction to Literature. Barnett, Sylvan, ed. Boston:

Little, Brown and Company. 1984. pp. 1030-1114. Print.

Sophocles. Oedipus Rex. An Introduction to Literature. Barnett, Sylvan, ed. Boston: Little,

Brown and Company. 1984. pp.721-64. Print.

Sources Used in Documents:

Work Cited

Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. An Introduction to Literature. Barnett, Sylvan, ed. Boston:

Little, Brown and Company. 1984. pp. 1030-1114. Print.

Sophocles. Oedipus Rex. An Introduction to Literature. Barnett, Sylvan, ed. Boston: Little,

Brown and Company. 1984. pp.721-64. Print.

Cite this Document:

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"Oedipus And Death Of A", 16 January 2011, Accessed.30 June. 2022,

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