Willy Loman the Modern Tragic Hero Essay

This essay has a total of 293 words and 2 pages.

Willy Loman the Modern Tragic Hero



A tragic hero is known to be the protagonist who causes his own downfall, is seen as
greater than the average man, and is aware of his misfortune. In Arthur Miller’s Death of
a Salesman Willy Loman is the protagonist. Willy Loman illustrates significant
characteristics of a tragic hero.
Willy Loman achieves “recognition.” Willy, like Aristotle’s description of the
tragic hero, moves “from ignorance to knowledge”(Aristotle 190). Willy is ignorant of
his significance. He is unaware that his son Biff really loves him, but wife Linda helps
Willy realize the truth. When Willy knows that his life insurance money will help his
family live comfortably, he states that he is “worth more dead than alive”(Miller 98).
He then sacrifices himself for them.
Although he is a common man, Willy has the requisite stature to be heroic.
According to Arthur Miller, the tragic hero has “alternatives of a magnitude to have
materially changed the course of his life”(Miller 33). Willy strives to obtain the
American Dream by becoming successful in the business world. Willy envies people like
Ben and Howard who have achieved the American Dream. Willy also wants to have a
successful family life as a father and husband. Unfortunately, Willy was out of town on
business for a large part of his son’s lives. These business trips were also the cause of his
secret affair with a woman in Boston. The success that Willy tries so hard to achieve in
the business world is what causes his failure to obtain success in his personal life.
Continues for 1 more page >>




  • Film Noir
    Film Noir Forty years after Raymond Borde and Étienne Chaumeton defined the challenge, critical commentators on film noir continue to grapple with it. Ironically, American writers did not immediately take up consideration of this indigenous phenomenon and the question of its "essential traits." Only gradually in a frequently cross-referenced series of essays in the 1970s did they begin to express themselves. There are now a dozen full-length books in English concerning film noir and undoubtedly
  • Dominican music and film
    Dominican music and film The Caribbean island nation of the Dominican Republic is little known by most Americans, but America is ever present in the Dominican consciousness. Until Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire went head to head in the legendary homerun battle of 1998, few Americans were aware of any American-Dominican rivalry in western hemispheric culture. Nothing gave Dominicans more pride than to see Sosa hold Major League Baseballs homerun record, albeit for less than 24 hours before McGuire
  • Americanization
    Americanization "Former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau once compared liking next to the United States to sleeping with an elephant. He said, ‘You cannot help but be aware of its every movement.\'" http://www.pbs.org/pioneerliving/segments/Americanization.htm The issue of American culture and its globalization has raised a lot of controversy. "The era of globalization" is becoming the preferred term to describe the current times. The term Americanization has been around for years. It wa
  • Americanization
    Americanization "If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose- because it contains all the others- the fact that they were the people who created the phrase to make money. No other language or nation had ever used these words before; men had always thought of wealth as a static quantity- to be seized, begged, inherited, shared, looted or obtained as a favor. Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created." Ayn Rand People have always been inte