This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Death Of A Salesman By Arthur Miller

2268 words - 9 pages

The tragic tale Death of a Salesman fulfills Aristotle’s definition of a tragedy to a great degree. The play conforms to Aristotle’s definition seamlessly for the factors of plot, thought, diction, and spectacle, satisfying all of the key necessities for each section. Character, also, fits well with his definition, but there are a few deviations from Aristotle’s perfect tragedy that prevent a seamless fit. The use of a chorus is completely ignored in this play, but being one of the least important elements, it does not affect the overall worth of the play. When the individual parts of the play are examined, it satisfies Aristotle’s requirements for a perfect tragedy.
In Aristotle’s definition of a perfect tragedy he delegates plot as the most important component of the play. According to Aristotle, plot can be defined as the cause-and-effect chain that presents the incidents to the audience. This chain must have rising action, a climax, and falling action, as well as being self-contained, complex, and contain a significant meaning (McManus). Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman satisfies all of these stipulations completely. The structure of Death of a Salesman has a beginning, middle, and end as required by Aristotle, however the order of these are not necessarily true to form. Some events that occur in the middle of the play should be at the beginning if examined as purely a cause and effect chain, and some events at the beginning should be at the middle. The inciting action when Biff discovers his father’s infidelity during one of Willy’s business trips. The climax of the play is the argument between Willy and Biff where Biff realizes that Willy is a cause of his short comings. Biff’s statement, “And I never got anywhere because you blew me so full of hot air I could never stand taking orders from anybody! That’s whose fault it is!” (Arthur Miller), shows how Willy influenced Biff so greatly that he set Biff up for failure. The final resolution occurs when Willy takes his life to provide for his family. This set up of rising action, climax, and falling action is reminiscent of Freytag’s pyramid, the plot contains defined beginning, middle and, end. When Aristotle stipulates that a play must be self-contained, he means that there cannot be an outside event that is a cause in the cause and effect chain (McManus). Death of a Salesman satisfies that by having all events result from inside the story, and all leading back to Willy’s affair with the woman on his business trip which incites the story and leads to his ultimate demise. This play has a truly ringing meaning as it humbles an idea that in most works is shown as a one hundred percent effective solution to all problems, the American dream. Arthur Miller displays that the American dream does not always work as in the case of Willy Loman, who dreams of making it rich as a salesman but ends up broke and without friends. Miller cites examples of successes of the American Dream (i.e. Ben and...

Find Another Essay On Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

692 words - 3 pages Salesman and The Crucible. Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press International, 1989Hynes, Joseph A. ''Attention Must be Paid . . .'' Death of a Salesman: Text and Criticism. Ed. Gerald Weales. New York:Viking, 1967. 280- 289.Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. New York: Viking Compass Edition, 1958.

"Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller

441 words - 2 pages Tragedy and PathosA curious reader probes deeper into the story Death of a Salesman and concludes that the story is a tragedy. The reader may even proclaim that Willy Loman is a pathetic character because he is reaching for unattainable goals and is struggling with his family life. However, this inquisitive reader may be using these terms too lightly according to Arthur Millar's essay "On the Nature of Tragedy."Arthur Miller brings new

" Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller

940 words - 4 pages Audiences Reading a play and watching a movie appears to be two different things. Some people enjoy reading a book, while others enjoy relaxing in front of the television to watch a movie. The audience does not realize that they might see the storyline differently if they were to do both. Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller, is a story of an old salesman who has multiple flashbacks of his life throughout the storyline. Through watching the

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

1428 words - 6 pages Many families suffer from dysfunctions. In the Death of a Salesman written by Arthur Miller, you have a dysfunctional family, Willy thinks he is an advanced salesmen getting cheated out of an amazing opportunity in New York, Linda believes her husband Willy is mentally sane and that he just has bad luck, Happy says he’s a salesmen when he has been keeping his real work hidden from his family, and Biff has been bouncing around from job to job

Death Of A Salesman by Arthur Miller

1062 words - 4 pages Death Of A Salesman by Arthur Miller Willy's character is one of a common man, he isn't anything special, nor ever was he. He chose to follow the American dream and he chose to lead the life it gave him. Willy made the American dream his culture, and the American dream made Willy its victim. The American dream is the belief that through sheer hard work alone, any man can gain professional success and thus receive

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

1137 words - 5 pages Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller The play, Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, takes issue with those in America who place too much stress upon material gain, at the expense of other, more admirable human values. Miller uses flashbacks to provide exposition, to foreshadow the upcoming tragedy, and most importantly to reveal character traits. An analysis of the main character, Willy Loman, illustrates the underlying theme that the

"Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller

815 words - 3 pages wife Linda and his sons Biff and Happy. This determination to succeed, in order to support his family, makes Willy appear noble and admirable; a quality of a tragic hero.In Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller is not only criticising Willy's pursuit of the American Dream and success, but is also questioning the validity of the dream itself. Willy's dreams have been impaired by the falseness of his society, shattering his life. As Willy's demise seems

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

1792 words - 7 pages Since the beginning of the Industrial Age, Americans have idealized the journey towards economic success. One thing people do not realize, however, is that journey is not the same for every individual. Media often leads its viewers toward a “one size fits all” version of success that may help themselves, but will rarely help the viewers. This is seen in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Miller includes multiple instances of symbolism and

"Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller

1669 words - 7 pages How effectively and by what means has the writer of this dramatic work conveyed the inner lives of the characters?The play "Death Of a Salesman", by Arthur Miller focuses on the theme of failure in a success oriented society. The playwright's skilful use of a range of dramatic techniques combined with specific language contributes to conveying the inner lives of the characters. These techniques, such as staging, scenery, music, lighting

"Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller - 934 words

934 words - 4 pages life and becoming rich are all not impossible, but for a man like Willy, to live life without skill or a sense of direction will not promise wealth success. Willy's tragedy should serve as a reminder to the present society that the American Dream is not achieved by believing "it's not what you say, it's how you say it-because personality always wins the day"(65), but rather like Bernard, who works for what he has.Works CitedMiller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. New York: Penguin Books, 1976.

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller - 1509 words

1509 words - 7 pages In Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman Willy Loman has an obsession with material wealth and popularity. These obsessions get in the way of him achieving true happiness in his life with his family .Willy was inspired by Dave Singleman , his dreams of being like him were also ruined because of his obsessions. Willy said to his wife Linda describing Dave“His name was Dave Singleman… and he’d drummed merchandise in thirty-one states. And old Dave

Similar Essays

Death Of A Salesman By Arthur Miller 1344 Words

1344 words - 6 pages Willy Loman, from the play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, exhibited the traits of a tragic hero. His disastrous qualities came prior to his foreshadowed death when he realized his existence had not panned out the way he had hoped. Mr. Loman aroused sympathy from the readers as he dedicated his life to a single cause, all while having a weakness of pride that led to his catastrophic passing. Willy was destined to pass away from the very

Death Of A Salesman By Arthur Miller 1294 Words

1294 words - 5 pages In the play, Death of A Salesman, Arthur Miller depicts the dissolution of the American family, as well as the decline of the prosperous lifestyles that defined past generations, illustrating the theme of American decadence. From page one, the idea is set in motion by Miller that “the mighty have fallen”; that society clearly is no longer a place of opportunity. In this play, Miller puts forward the idea that opportunities of past generations in

Death Of A Salesman By Arthur Miller

1685 words - 7 pages Happy may never be able to escape the same fate as their father. Works Cited Miller, Arthur. "The Death of a Salesman." The Norton Introduction to Literature. Ed. Mays. 11th ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2013. Page. Print. Loos, Pamela. "Best Intentions Far Awry: The Family Dynamic In All My Sons And Death Of A Salesman." Critical Insights: Arthur Miller. 19-32. n.p.: Salem Press, 2010. Literary Reference Center. Web. 28 Jan

Death Of A Salesman, By Arthur Miller

1315 words - 5 pages Death of A Salesman, written by Arthur Miller, is a play based on the turmoil within an average American family. Miller wrote Death of A Salesman easily showcasing the elements of drama. I was easily able to follow the plot, identify with his characters, and picture the setting. The main theme of the plot seemed to be Willy reaching for the "American Dream". Financial success, business success, outwardly perfect family, revered