Modern playwrights have continued to create characters whose tragic flaws lead to tragedy, but these are not usually heroes in the classical sense. Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman,” for example, tells the story of a man whose character’s defect leads to tragedy and the suffering of others.
Death of a Salesman, is a gripping drama written by Arthur Miller, illustrating the suffering and hardships experienced by an ordinary 60-year old salesman who is on an unusual journey to achieve the American dream. Similar to the numerous early American dramas, the main character has a dream of attaining prosperity and status in his community. Willy Loman is an ordinary salesman who believes he will one day be a successful salesman. Because of Willy's frail mind, the old salesman sometimes doesn't know if he is living in the realm of today or yesterday. He berates his sons and cheats on his wife. When he loses his job at sixty-three, he commits suicide.
The drama unveils the emotional breakdown suffered by the play’s tragic hero, Willy Loman, at the dramatic moment when he realizes the only way he would be able to support his family was to commit suicide so they could obtain his life insurance money.
Willy Loman possesses neither great stature nor great virtue. He does not become aware of his character flaws. Therefore, he does not meet the classic Aristotelian definition of a tragic hero. However, his downfall is a result of his inability to be honest with himself, which is a character flaw. Miller in this wanted to show that in a modern democratic society, heroes do not have to be kings or nobleman and that the downfall of an average man is just as tragic as any other.
No one has a perfect life. Everyone has conflicts that they must face sooner or later. The ways in which one deals with these personal conflicts can differ as much as the... [continues]
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