The Tragedy Of Willy Loman In Death Of A Salesman

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Aristotle, the greek philosopher, once classified tragic works as “the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself; in a dramatic rather than narrative form; with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish a catharsis of these emotions.” (Aristotle). According to Britannica, a tragedy is “a branch of drama that treats in a serious and dignified style the sorrowful or terrible events encountered or caused by a heroic individual.” (Sewall). An example of a modern time period tragic work is Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. The play meets the criteria for a tragedy because Willy Loman, the misguided protagonist of the story, sets out to accomplish something that he thinks is right for him, his success, and his family, but, ironically, his actions are the very thing that causes pain and hardship for him and everyone around him. Loman, whose ideas of achieving perfection have been frustrated due to his incapacity to face his weaknesses, cope with his limitations, and confront his real self, is the reason the play can be categorized as a tragedy. Miller evokes pity and fear in his audience throughout the story, portrays Loman as a man who is plagued by his American Dream that is unrealistic and impractical, and finally uses Willy’s suicide as his inevitable defeat through his own actions and flaws.

Death of a Salesman has many aspects associated with dramatic tragedy, including a flawed hero, a ‘fall’ into despair,
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