Tragedy and the Common Man, He Contemplates Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Tragedy and the Common Man," he contemplates the idea that only the wealthy, noble characters can fully understand tragedy, and therefore appreciate it. That thought is not a reflection of his own opinion, as Miller argues the case of tragedy and the common, working class man - for tragedy knows no income boundaries, but rather that this person would "lay down his life...to secure one thing - his sense of personal dignity." To that end, Willy Loman epitomizes what Miller is speaking about.

Willy Loman is most certainly a tragic hero, according to the modern-day, Arthur Miller type definitions. Loman is hardworking and relentless in his pursuit of his American dream. His tragic flaw is that he cannot recognize how desperately his family wants to love him, yet Willy loves his family deeply enough to sacrifice self in order to give Biff the American dream that he could not obtain himself.

Unlike the Oedpius' or Caesar's of Shakespeare's time, Loman is not the self-assured King of anything - in fact, he is quite the opposite. His insecurities as a dad, a man, a husband and a salesman are what the tragedy is built upon. Loman would not be the character he is without those characteristics. His inability to see past corporate America prevents him from becoming the man he could have been, and that makes him easier…

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