The Tragic Hero In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman

711 Words3 Pages
The idea of what a tragic hero can be seen as has changed slightly through the course of time. Currently, the definition of a tragic hero according to dictionary.com is a “great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy who is destined for downfall, suffering, or defeat.” Although this is a highly accepted definition, it is not exactly what Arthur Miller had in mind, what Miller viewed as a tragic hero was slightly different. Most times whenever the words “tragic hero” come to mind, someone of great power and royalty are thought of, take for example Prince Hamlet, Jay Gatsby, Oedipus, etc. All of these characters have at least one shared trait, they are either wealthy, royalty, powerful or a combination of these three. Miller’s play Death of A Salesman demonstrates how contrasting his view of a tragic hero through the use of Willy Loman. Willy Loman perfectly suits Miller’s definition of the modern tragic hero, as his definition of a tragic hero occurs to be the common man searching for and attempting to achieve his place in society. One of the most obvious reasons that Willy Loman fits Miller’s definition is that Willy is a common person. Unlike previous well-known plays and novels where the tragic hero is of royal background or rich, Willy is just the average person trying to make a living in New York. There is nothing that makes Willy Loman to most men, he is a salesman married to his wife Linda Loman with two sons (Miller 1852-1854). Miller purposely made Mr. Loman
Open Document