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Essay on Death of a Salesman

  • Submitted by: hunkyspider
  • on January 6, 2013
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,835 words

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Below is a free excerpt of "Essay on Death of a Salesman" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Aristotle, the ancient philosopher was the first to reveal in his poetics his definition of a tragedy; which was that tragedy represents man better than he is. This idea enables us to think that perhaps the main protagonist is not always as strongly perceived as they should be; allowing them to have more credit than they deserve. 'I believe that the common man is as apt a subject for tragedy as kings are'- Arthur Miller. Miller’s ‘Death of a Salesman’ introduces us to a tragic hero called Willy Loman. The play does not seem to conform to Aristotle's view of a tragedy, as Willy Loman starts the play at low ebb and continues downhill for the duration. Miller modernises Aristotle’s idea of a tragedy in a contemporary format. This is because Miller needed to create a character with who people at the time could relate to; contrasting Aristotle's more traditional idea. The requiem scene reveals to the family how deluded Willy was about his career. The significance of this scene is the fact that now there are no lies and his children and wife can see for themselves, how weighed down he really was by the American Dream.
The American dream offered people a chance to achieve riches even if they had started penniless. Becoming wealthy in all aspects required characteristics of charisma, masculinity and competitiveness, having these meant you were on the right road to success. This could be an indication to the audience, showing us that these are the main reasons why Willy pressurizes his sons to be more successful with their personalities than their education as this is his way of living, and his way of learning how to grow up to be successful forces Willy to live his façade.
“Because the man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates personal interest, is the man who gets ahead. Be liked and you will never want.” Willy, page 20.   This is the first time Willy shows his opinion of himself which encompasses the traits described. The American Dream...

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