Willy Loman As A Tragic Hero

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In many texts, a tragic figure contains aspects of a hero; they have power or other noble qualities. These types of tragic figures are held back by a tragic flaw, which contributes to their downfall and categorizes them as a tragic hero. However, some tragic figures do not have to obtain these qualities, but rather have qualities of normal people. Throughout “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller, Willy Loman is presented as a tragic figure, illustrated through his dreams and suffering of himself and others, displaying the theme that the American Dream can drive one’s life out of control. A few key aspects of Willy cause the reader to classify him as a tragic figure. For example, he started out as a young man with specific dreams, looking up to his brother, Ben, who always recounted, “When I was seventeen I walked into the jungle, and when I was twenty-one I walked out. And by God I was rich” (Miller 48). Willy’s main goal in life was to experience the American Dream as Ben did, but he never accomplished this because he became a salesman, and a poor one at that. For years, Willy lied to himself, which causes extreme psychological issues in the future. These issues only grow throughout the novel, exposing Willy’s tragic flaw, leading to his vivid memories, and causing his suicide. At the end of the novel, Willy suddenly makes this decision to commit…show more content…
Willy was unable to achieve the American Dream, so he pushed it upon his sons, especially Biff, which caused more issues in their lives. Willy’s severe beliefs in untrue things created suffering for everyone in his family. The American Dream worked for some people at the time, but not all, and Arthur Miller made that very clear throughout the text. Americans may not always experience the success and wealth that is sought
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