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Death of a Salesman - Tragedy

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Erick Salgado

on 7 September 2012

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Transcript of Death of a Salesman - Tragedy

Tragedy Death of a Salesman Is Willy Loman a tragic hero? Is this play a tragedy? According to Aristotle, "A man doesn't become a hero until he can see the root of his own downfall." What is a tragedy? What is a tragic hero? • The common man is suitable to be a hero even though the average man has no wealth or king status. Tragedy & the Common Man •Tragedy between monarchs no longer raises our interest, nor our ideas of justice. "I believe that the common man is as apt a subject for tragedy in its highest senses as kings were." Classical Tragedy • Involves a protagonist of high class or wealth. •The protagonist falls from the "perfect" life into misery. •They have a tragic "flaw" •Flaw is usually human mistake/weakness. Modern Tragedy •Ordinary people in tragic situations. Does Willy Loman
meet the requirements? Is he of high class/wealth? "I never have to wait in line to see a buyer. »Willy Loman is here!« That’s all they have to know, and I go right through." (pg. 1561) Does he suffer from a flaw? CHARLEY: I am offering you a job. Willy: I don't wan your goddam job! (pg. 1602) Hamartia: Tragic error or misjudgment Is there a tragic ending? Is there a downfall? BIFF: He had the wrong dreams. All, all, wrong. HAPPY: Don't say that! BIFF: He never knew who he was. (pg. 1629) "As the car speeds off, the music crashes down in a frenzy of sound, which becomes soft pulsation of a single cello string." (pg. 1628) 1.Nobility - Being born in a high class of wealth/power.
2.Hamartia- A flaw or error.
3.Downfall- Twist in fortune, hero going downhill.
4.Recognizing the misfortune was brought by the character himself. What does that mean? Examples of Classic
Tragedy Pieces? Oedipus •Man of high social class. (King of Thebes)

•He swears to find the killer of his father, even though he doesn't realize he is the killer.

•He is too arrogant to admit his errors and attempts to take it out on the blind soothsayer.

•The prophecy comes true and Oedipus blinds himself and asks Creon* to leave the land. (Leaves) *Creon-Ruler of Thebes Hamlet •Man of high social class. (Prince of Denmark)

•Has tragic flaw hubris. (According to Merriam-Webster, Hubris is exaggerated pride or self-confidence)

•Ends in tragic deaths for everyone. Example of Modern Day
Tragedy? Death of a
Salesman Is Death of a Salesman a Tragedy? Is Willy Loman a
Tragic Hero? YOUR CHOICE :)
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