Analysis Of Tragedy And The Common Man

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Asif Ali
Ruperdra Guha Majumdar, Associate Professor, DU
IA Term Paper Semester - IV
19th April 2016

Tragedy of a common man in Mother Courage and Her Children: From the spectacle of Realism

In the essay "Tragedy and the Common Man," the author Arthur Miller puts forward a very strong argument in the favor of a common man’s suitability for being the hero of a tragedy. And this argument was based on some common points like, such plays can influence us greatly for they contain various elements like the fear of displacement, the tragedy of the difference between who we are and who we wish to be in this world. “Among us today this fear is strong, and perhaps stronger, than it ever was. In fact, it is the common man who knows this fears the best.” According to Miller a common layman is well aware of fear and understands it well hence qualifies for the tragedy. A man’s quest for morality which is moreover a subjective matter, the point of concern over here is the extent to which he would go to reach that point of morality. Men who are not “common” have hard time acquiring the mindset of a common man. They are less traditional thinkers and fearful as compared to common men. Common man on the contrary accepts the “conditions of life” and prospers as well as realizes it himself. In Miller’s own words the most suitable way to define the eligibility of a common man for tragedy is "the common man knows fear best." The similar common man is Mother Courage and the other characters
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