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The Death Of A Salesman Essay

1122 words - 4 pages

Death of a Salesman: In the play, Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman: Willy Loman, a sympathetic salesman and despicable father who's "life is a casting off" has some traits that match Aristotle's views of a tragic hero. Willy's series of "ups and downs" is identical to Aristole's views of proper tragic figure; a king with flaws. His faulty personality, the financial struggles, and his inabiltity are three substantital flaws that contribute to his failure and tragic end. Willy, an aging salesman who sells nothing, is abused by the buyers, and repeatly borrows money from Charley to make ends meet. He is angered by the way his boss, Howard fired him after working for thirty-four-years at the same company, "You can't eat the orange and throw the peel away--a man is not a piece of fruit!" (Miller, 61). Willy is battling for his life, fighting to sustain a sense of himself that makes it worthwhile living at all in a world which seemingly offers less and less space for the individual. Now, If it is true that tragedy is the consquence of a man's total complusion to evaluate himself justly, his destruction in the attempt posits a wrong or an evil in his environment. And this is precisely the morality of tragedy and its lesson. The discovery of the moral law, which is what the enlightenment of tragedy consists of, is not the discovery of some abstract or metaphysical quantity. (miller, common man) His problem is that he has so completely accepted the values of his society that he judges himself by standards rooted in social myths rather than human necessities. This lack of insight is strikingly similiar to traits of the tragic hero. As Aristotle's writes, the tragic hero, "Lives for honor and fame". The glaring point of his faulty personality of neglecting others includes those closest to him, his wife, Linda and his two sons, Biff and Happy. "You'll retire me for life on seventy goddamn dollars a week?" (Miller, 28) is evidence of the cruelty Willy can show toward Happy as he does to Biff. Willy puts enormous pressure on his older son, Biff, to help him out in his time of need, "Hap, [Willy] got to understand that I'm not the man somebody lends that kind of money to," (Miller, 81). In the past, Biff went unexpectly to Boston, to a hotel where Willy was staying and begs Willy to come back to New York and convince his math teacher to give him a "passing grade" in a math course so he can graduate on time. While there, Biff sees the 'WOMAN' in his father's hotel room. Willy, at first, claims she is in the room because her shower is broken; then he changes the story and says he knows her through work, "They're painting her room so I let her take a shower here. Go back, go back..." (Miller,93). It did not get much better at home either. He constantly puts down his wife and hates it when she interrupts him in his conversations with Biff and Happy, Willy reacts angrily,"[to LINDA]: Stop interrupting!" (Miller, 47). Willy does the best as he know how because his...

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