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A Tragic Hero Of A Salesman Tragic Heroism In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman

574 words - 3 pages

Death of a Salesman is the tragic story of one man and his struggle to fulfill the Americandream and take his family along with him. Since the story is tragic, what would a tragedy bewithout the title character, himself, dying? Well, probably just a sad story. So, it happens, butwe have to wonder, is Willy Loman a tragic hero? Arthur Miller says a tragic hero is "Thetragic feeling...invoked whenever we are in the presence of a character, any character, whois ready to sacrifice his life, if need be, to secure one thing, his sense of personal dignity.""It can be argued ...view middle of the document...

Willy is a hero, if even just in his own eyes. He never let himself doubtthe fact that he was a hard worker whose work meant everything to himself. He went to workeach and every day and came home to his family, to some who he hoped would carry on thefamily business. While this later turned out not to be the case, Willy never lost his pride and hisdignity. He believed in himself, his work and he believed that he always did things in the right.He broke down in the novel, especially towards his son, but he broke down in defense of his ownbeliefs, beliefs that he had hoped to bestow unto him, and eventually couldn't. If for no otherreason, Willy is a tragic hero because he always put his family first. At times, in the eyes of eachof them individually it may not have seemed to them that that was what he was doing, but Willyonly wanted the best for each of them, or at least what he believed was the best. That is the onlyflaw, is that through Willy's eyes and from the audience's perspective and through our pity forhim, we can see him as the tragic hero, and he can see himself that way if he chose to;unfortunately, however, his family, through their eclectic lifestyles may not have viewed his lifeand death in the same light.

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