Tragic Fall of Willy Loman and Hamlet

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English 1102
Dr. Fred Hill
The tragic fall of Willy Loman and Hamlet

Both Willy Loman and Hamlet suffered till their untimely death. Both were afflicted with corrupted families and were lost in understanding their role in life.  For a character to be considered tragic, he/she must be of high moral estate, fall to a level of catastrophe, induce sympathy and horror in the audience, and usually die, and in doing so, re-establish order in the society. This is easily traceable, using the classical definition of the tragic hero, through the short time that we get to visit Hamlet in his life. Hamlet clearly falls from grace and struggles to understand what has happened. On the other hand, Willy Loman, falls from a precieved sense of grace and is left to face his embellished self worth. Hamlet, the exuberant prince of Denmark proud of his rich moral standing is thrust to the brink of insanity when his father is suddenly torn from this life. Though Hamlet Sr.’s initial cause of death is though to be natural causes, Hamlet later realizes that his uncle Claudius, Hamlet Sr.’s brother, murdered him. Vowing revenge upon his Uncle, Hamlet begins to falter, quickly losing touch with reality. Leading up to his death he accidentally kills Polonius, loses his love Ophelia to suicide, and in the epic climax loses his mother, uncle friend and his own life to poison. Hamlet dies defeating his own demons though ultimately destroying all that he loved. Willy Loman suffered from delusions of grandeur. Unlike Hamlet, Willy never was a great man, though he had built his life on unattainable dreams with no foundation. We meet Willy and his family at a point where their lives are fully established, albeit in nothing. Willy has falsely convinced himself and his family that they are underrated important people consistently lingering at the verge of greatness. Willy’s demise is the false world that he has created crumbling down around him and his struggle to understand what it...
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