Comparison Of Tragedies Written By Miller And Aristotle

768 words - 3 pages

For a story to be a tragedy it has to follow the principles setby Aristotle, a Greek philosopher, or those of Arthur Millerwho is a twentieth century playwright. A tragedy, in Aristotle'sview, usually concerns the fall of an individual whose character isgood but not perfect and his misfortunes are brought about by thetragic flaw. This flaw is the part of the character that personifieshim as being tragic. Miller uses this definition of a tragedy butalso broadens it including the common man. All of thesecharacteristics are seen in the plays Julius Caesar, Death of aSalesman, and Oedipus Rex.Although the title of the play Julius Caesar focuses onCaesar, the play itself is really based on Brutus. 'Brutus hadrather be a villager than to repute himself a son of Rome.'(Act I,scene II, line 172). This was said by Brutus after Cassius told himhow Caesar had become a towering figure over Rome and howCaesar controls Rome. Notice the good in Brutus, and theextremes he will go to in order to protect democracy in Romeeven if it means killing the one he loves, Caesar. Brutus possessesone of the most tragic flaws. He is too nice of a person andtherefore he gets taken advantage of. He lets Cassius persuadehim into killing Caesar for the good of Rome. Because he doesfor others more than himself he makes a fatal mistake, he letsAntony live. Brutus says to the conspirators, 'For Antony is but alimb of Caesar'(Act II scene I line 165) meaning that if Caesar iskilled Antony will die off too. Brutus clearly does not regardAntony as being a threat, but little does Brutus know thatAntony will stir up the town to seek revenge after theassassination of Caesar. This mistake will cost him his own life.When he dies he becomes a prime example of tragedy because notonly did he bring about his own death he dies by his own hand.In Death of a Salesman, Willy Lowman's tragic flaw is thathe is a dreamer who is unable to face the realities ofa modern day society. Willy builds his whole life around thephilosophy that if a person is well liked and good looking thenhe will be successful. Willy says to Biff , 'I thank Almighty Godthat you are both are built like Adonises.'(Act I page 33) Later,Willy makes the comment, 'Be liked and you...

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