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How are issues of personal dignity dramatically portrayed in Death of a Salesman?

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  • Essay length: 1915 words
  • Submitted: 01/02/2012
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AS and A Level Arthur Miller

The first 200 words of this essay...

"Tragic feeling is evoked in us when we are in the presence of a character who is

ready to lay down his life, if need be, to secure... his sense of personal dignity." How

are issues of personal dignity dramatically portrayed in Death of a Salesman?

Willy Loman, central protagonist in Miller's Death of a Salesman, clings - above all else - to his

personal dignity. But personal dignity is not only shown through Willy but also explored by Miller through

the other characters and specific events and actions throughout the play. These are portrayed dramatically

from the setting of scenes in Willy's mind, to the tension between father and son, and in this essay I will

look at Miller's different portrayals of personal dignity. But what is personal dignity? It is defined as "the

quality or state of being worthy of esteem or respect;" or, alternatively something that comes from "a high

office or rank". And 'tragic feeling' is defined as "mournful, melancholy or pathetic or dreadful, disastrous

or fatal". In what way are these two concepts similar? In short, they're opposites. Dignity is a positive

thing,

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