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"Death Of A Salesman" Is Willy A Tragic Hero? Does He Have A Tragic Flaw? Discussion

1225 words - 5 pages

I did not find Willy to be a tragic hero- according to Aritstotle he would of been a manwho enjoys great reputation and good fortune. Willy had neither of these. I found himto be irresponsible, unable to live in his reality- cheating on his wife- somone who wouldrather borrow money from Charley- a friend than to work for him. I feel that he tookthe easy way out by killing himself. He did in the end provide for his wife- however-now she is alone. All those years of financial stress and "standing behind her man" -she is left "free & clear" finally owning the home she'd lived in for 25 years but now shelives there without the one she's been so dedicated to for so long.I would have to say that Willy by far is not a tragic hero, under Aristotles definition ofone. He did not appear to be a great father or husband. He drove himself crazy whiletrying to push his kids towards perfection. He also ended up killing himself and giving hiswife what they both wanted their house paid off. He did not appear to be a man of goodfortune. He did however in his mind enjoy a great reputation through business.According to Aristotle, Willie is not a tragic hero. He is not a noble person "who enjoysgreat reputation and good fortune." According to Arthur Miller, a tragic hero is onewho "does not remain passive in what he believes is a challenge to his dignity." The herowould not simply accept his situation without a fight. A tragic flaw is when theprotagonist has a "compulsion to evaluate himself justly." Based on these statements, Iwould have to say that Willy is not really a hero, because he didn't really fight thesituation. He just kept trying to do what he always did...sell. However, he did have atragic flaw. He constantly evaluated himself and compared himself with his brother Benin an attempt to figure out what he did wrong: "Why didn't I go to Alaska with my brotherBen that time...he begged me to go...there was a man started with the clothes on his backand ended up with diamond mines!" Willy realized that he talked too much and hethought he was too fat, that he was "foolish to look at..." (p. 1401). These phrases tell usthat he analyzed the situation. Had Willy been a hero, he would have tried to dosomething about his situation, but all he really did was talk about it.I think that in Willey's mind he would think that he is a tragic hero. He also said peopleknew him and when he went into an office, he did not have to wait, they called him inright away. He also wanted to be popular like the 83 yr old salesman he knew, thatwould make sales calls from home, and when this man died, the funeral was packed.But in fact when Willey did die, nobody showed up except his family. His whole life wasnothing but lies and made-up stories, he had no grasp on reality at all, and when hebecame old and used up, he realized he had gotten no where and his stories were notcutting it anymore. I think he would daydream about the past because he wished hecould go back and change it from...

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