Tragedy Defined By Arthur Miller: Othello And Willy Loman

627 words - 3 pages

"Tragedy and the Common Man" written by Arthur Miller defines what he feels is a tragedy. There are several different characteristics that Miller feels defines a tragic figure. One is that the main character does whatever he has to do to secure his personal sense of dignity. Another key part of a tragedy is the "tragic flaw" that the main character has. When the character recognizes his tragic flaw, he tries to overcome it, and fails in the process. Willy Loman and Othello definitely fit the description of a tragic figure.Willy Loman's major flaw was his pride or dignity. He couldn't accept the fact he was getting old and he was losing the respect of people. He tries to hard to be well respected and liked. We know this is true because what he says to his sons when ...view middle of the document...

He ends up losing his job. Now he can't even support his family. He even loses the respect of his sons, when Happy tells the two girls he was with, that Willy wasn't his father. He couldn't overcome his flaw of not accepting himself, and in the end he kills himself to escape the repercussions he has caused himself. Even the moment before he dies, he feels he needs the respect of his family so he suicides and leaves the money to his family. This is very similar to what happens to Othello.Othello's major flaw was that he is too gullible. The people around him also knew of Othello's attitude. Iago was quick to exploit his weakness or flaw. Iago says: "the moor is of a free and open nature that thinks men honest that but seem to be so." (Shakespare 1054) Iago knew how that Othello was a person that believes in appearance. Knowing this, Iago set up the scene of Cassio starting a fight. He also tricked Othello into believing that Cassio was cheating with his wife Desdesmona. He showed him that the handkerchief he gave to Desdemona was now in the hands of Cassio. He was so gullible he didn't make any real attempt to find out the truth. In jealously, he killed his wife Desdemona, and went after Cassio also. He did this to secure his personal sense of dignity, which is another reason why he is a tragic figure. When he finally realized the true after losing everything, including his status, he killed himself. His tragic flaw had lead to his downfall.Both characters Othello and Willy Loman are tragic figures. The tragic flaw that they have lived with their whole life both lead to the same fate. When it was too late, and they both lost everything important to them, they chose to suicide. Both characters tried to recover their personal sense of dignity but neither could.

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