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

The Influences Of Tragedy In Arthur Miller´S Death Of A Salesman

1366 words - 5 pages

The Influences of Tragedy in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
“A salesman has got to dream” (Miller ). That sums up Willy Loman’s life in just one sentence. Willy is a sixty-three year old salesman with two son, Biff and Happy, and loving, supportive wife, Linda. In Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Willy tries to provide for his family while struggling with financial, emotional, psychological, and suicidal issues. Willy commits suicide at the end of the play, with the help of his dead brother Ben, in believing that the action is the only way he could provide for his family one last time. Willy was not the only one to suffer disillusionment over his life; his sons follow in step (Loos 2). Biff is lost through most of the play, but he finds himself. He achieves a sense of personal dignity and comes to understanding his rightful place in society” (Nienhuis 95). In this classic American play, Miller uses the themes of chasing the wrong dream and identity crises to influence the overall theme of tragedy.
The death of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman deems the play a tragedy. But Biff’s comment in the end that Willy never knew himself, critics took that statement to not seeing much of tragic insight in its hero, which takes from the play’s tragic claim. Supporting this furthermore, Nienhuis states that all deaths are not truly tragic (3-4). But Biff’s comment and Nienhuis’ statement is not quite accurate. “Willy did struggle against self-knowledge—trying not to know ‘what’ he was; but he had always a superb consciousness of his own individual strength as a ‘who’ (Nienhuis 4). With Willy being lost and getting fired from a job he put his whole life into, he’s death really did live up to its tragic claim.
Written in the beginning of the play, it says that it is about dreams; “They are conceptions as old as America” (Eisinger 1). Willy dreams of being a successful businessman that his sons could look up to; though his confusion of being a father is mixed with “wealth and prestige,” and “…related commitment to the economic delusion known as ‘the American Dream’…” (Nienhuis 4). Most of Miller’s tragedies are about men “…not at one with society…” because they cannot seem to find that right fit in society. Willy Loman comes up short in trying to find or understand himself and “…esteems a career path that goes against who he truly is…” (Loos 1). Loos also explains Miller’s thoughts on Willy: to make way in the world he dreams of conquering, he makes another personality. To make a living, “Willy…must split himself in two between his job and who he actually is… as it causes him to misunderstand himself and his family by defining success solely on business terms and…forcing this definition upon his sons” (1).
Now following this split, wanting Biff to become a successful businessman, Willy enforces an unrealistic “vision” that goes against Biff’s “nature” and throws him in the opposite direction in society. Linda’s involvement with the kids “add to the...

Find Another Essay On The Influences of Tragedy in Arthur Miller´s Death of a Salesman

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

2268 words - 9 pages , character, thought, diction, and spectacle in to a tragic tale that Aristotle would deem perfect. He took all of Aristotle’s requirements and with a few deviations put forth a true tragic tale. All things considered, Aristotle would commend this as a perfect tragedy. Works Cited Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. Dir. Volker Schlöndorff. By Arthur Miller. Perf. Dustin Hoffman and John Malkovich. CBS Presents, 1985. DVD. McManus, Barbara F. "Outline of Aristotle's Theory of Tragedy." Outline of Aristotle's Theory of Tragedy. The College of New Rochelle, Nov. 1999. Web. 01 Feb. 2014.

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

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

692 words - 3 pages uncertainty, the son' s silence on this critical point is both understandable andjustified.WORKS CITEDAarnes, William. 'Tragic Form and the Possibility of Meaning in Death of a Salesman.' Arthur Miller's Death of aSalesman: Modern Critical Interpretations. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House, 1988. 84-110.Bigsby, C. W. E. 'Death of a Salesman: In Memoriam.' Modern Critical Interpretations. Ed. Harold Bloom. 113-128.Dukore, Bernard F. Death of a

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 do this with his wonderful ability to help the reader become emerged in the plot. His characterization made his characters seem tangible. The music and lighting descriptions helped to make the scene come alive. Works Cited Bigsby, C. W. E. “Death of a Salesman.” Arthur Miller: A Critical Study. New York: Cambridge UP, 2005. 100-123. Foll, Scott. "Conflict and Meaning" 2000 Web. http://aliscot.com/ensenanza/1302/conflict.htm Miller, Arthur. "Death of a Salesman." 1949. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. 8th ed. Vol. E. New York: W.W. Norton &ump;, 2012. 238-303. Print.

"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

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

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

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

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.

Similar Essays

The Crime Of Vanity In Arthur Miller´S Death Of A Salesman

1415 words - 6 pages There has been much discussion of Arthur Miller’s play Death Of A Salesman, in subsequent years since its release, arguing different perspectives of many aspects of the play. In B.S. Field Jr.’s article “Hamartia in Death of Salesman”, he puts forth his views detailing why he feels Willy Loman is adequately and justly punished for his many crimes against his family. By highlighting literary evidence, Field is able to detail a strong argument

Tragedy Of A Common Man In Death Of A Salesman By Arthur Miller

971 words - 4 pages himself and working towards promotions he sits back and waits for the manager to die, believing that he will take over the vacant spot. Due to Willy’s tragic flaw of pride, his son Happy is stunted from succeeding in life because he strives to achieve the wrong things. This furthermore leads to the downfall of Willy and his family, proving that Willy Loman is a tragic hero. To conclude, “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller satisfies the

"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 1344 Words

1344 words - 6 pages self-worth in thinking that without him, New England would not survive. This false logic makes Willy’s death heartbreaking because he views himself as well known and respected and that the masses will come to his funeral. In actuality when he died, only his family went to his burial. Willy Loman thought he would die the “Death of a Salesman,” but in real life he died the death of a misunderstood, lonely man. Arthur Miller portrays the main