Willy Loman A Tragic Hero Essay

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From Father to Tragic Hero A tragic hero is someone who experiences successes and failures that eventually lead to their downfall. In Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman”, Miller uses Willy Loman as a depressed and confused main character. He also leaves the question of whether or not Willy Loman a tragic hero up in the air. Miller uses the hopes and dreams of Willy Loman and turns them into failures to portray him as a tragic hero. From an outsider perspective, Willy Loman lives a normal life. He is a traveling salesman with two grown up sons, and a beautiful marriage. But is that really the life he has? No, it is not. One of the first disappointments Willy experiences is with his son. “Biff Loman is lost. In the greatest country in the world a young man with such -- personal attractiveness, gets lost.” (207) The story flashes back to when Biff is a senior in high school. He failed a math class which was needed to graduate. This cancelled his plans to be a collegiate football player. Ever since then, things have kept going on a downhill path for Biff. Willy and Linda both notice this and it devastates them. But, instead of helping his son, Willy becomes agitated for the rest of his life. He expected his son to be better but, Biff did not want to be better. He did not want to become that star football player as much as his father …show more content…

According to the paper, Shakespeare’s criteria includes being from a noble birth, having a fatal character flaw, and dying due to this flaw. Although Willy does not fit, the author found another way for Willy to be considered as a tragic hero by Shakespeare’s requirements. “Willy is universal in the sense that he embodies hopes, dreams, and fears which could be typical of all of us.” (xi) The reader can see throughout the story Willy’s hopes, dreams, fears, and, most importantly,

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