Willy Loman Tragic Hero

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A “Tragic Hero” can be defined as someone of high stature that is blind to reality and makes decisions that eventually lead to his downfall. Arthur Miller challenged that idea in his play Death of a Salesman. He brought this idea that a low man, a common man can be a tragic hero. A tragic hero needs to be a character that anyone can relate to and feel empathy for. In the play Death of a Salesman, Miller introduces us to the protagonist, Willy Loman, whose last name is a play on words. Loman is someone from humble beginnings and upbringings who is constantly trying to achieve the “American Dream”. Loman is inevitably destroyed by his actions, created by his lack of awareness of reality and his flawed dream. Through his self-destruction,…show more content…
His obsession to attain the “American Dream” leads him to lie to himself and as well as others. Through all the lies, Willy begins to believe them and cannot differentiate between his reality and actuality. For example, when Biff tells Willy that he was not a salesman, Willy begins rambling on, denies the truth, and brushes it off. Every time when his pride is hurt or his dignity is tarnished he opts to lying to save what little he has. This “Low Man” literally took reality and the truth said it was otherwise. In order to save his pride, Willy lost himself in lies in order to cope with his shortcomings, which lead to his downfall and the obsession of fulfilling this impalpable dream. This trait is just one of many used to describe a tragic…show more content…
Throughout the play, Loman seems to do just that. For example, when he tells his boys about the “American Dream”, that becomes their everything. His obsession for Biff to become a successful football player become Biff’s life. In act one, his family revolves around him and they participate in Willy’s fantasies just to please Willy. Willy meant to the world to his family, instilling many traits a “man” should have, especially into Biff. Later on, you find out that Willy has an affair in Boston and Biff finds
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