• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Is “Death of a Salesman” A Modern Tragedy?

Extracts from this document...


A.M.D.G. Filip Prodanovic GM2 8th January 2002 In "Death of a Salesman", the main character Willy Loman is epitome of a tragic hero as he is surrounded by various elements of tragedy. These Elements strip him of his dignity as he struggles to clinch his rightful position in the world. Arthur Miller uses corrupted society, a bad view of success, and delusional dreams, to create a path to Willy's downfall. Willy's destruction is calamitous, and did not have to happen. He had many opportunities to live a good life that he just failed to grasp, and he would get lost in a moment of joy. The intercity of this tragedy comes from the actual viewing of these failed attempts in finding happiness and a good life. One of the main forces that destroyed Willy Loman, is Willy Loman himself. Despite all other elements of tragedy in the story, Willy ultimately destroys himself, as his tragic flow slowly kills his existence. Willy enormously cogitates the concept that connections, and linked pasts can provide him with the future, as he as a salesman desires. Willy's perception of what he could be, or should be, contradicts what he actually is. He sees himself as a success. However, we see Willy as a tired old salesman with a vintage view of society. Willy's entire identity is tied up with an image of what a salesman should be. ...read more.


His name was never in the papers. He is not the finest character that ever lived.......A small man can just be as exhausted as a great man. Willy simply does not realise that personality and friendship are not enough to become who he dreams. This is evident as he is fired by his boss, and receives the information with disbelief: "I was just fired....Imagine that....I named him. Willy convinces Biff that anyone confident enough, gorgeous, and born leader, such as Biff himself has the right to set the rules in life. Willy is convinced that he is famous because of his career. He talks of going to New England on a summer trip and explains to his boys that: "they know me up and down in new England. I have friends. I can park my car in any street in New England, and the cops protect it like their own." When he refers to his yet to come funeral, he proudly insists: "That funeral will be massive. They'll come from Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire. All the old timers with the strange licence plates - that boy will be struck. He has never realised - I am known." The truth is that nobody showed up for his funeral, but his family and two friends. Willy even gets caught in a delusion of forming his own business one day: "Someday, I'll have my own business, and I'll never have to leave home any more." ...read more.


She has finally managed to pay off the house payments as the play draws to a close. "Help me, Willy, I can't cry. It seems to me that you're just on another trip. I keep expecting you. Willy, dear, I can't cry. Why did you do it? I search and search and I can't understand it, Willy. I made the last payment on the house today. Today, dear. And there'll be nobody home. We're free and clear. We're free. We're free... We're free...". It seems that Linda, like the reader, understands that Willy's disintegration did not have to happen. She realizes that the downfall has been tragic, just as Willy's life. She knows that the joy and the promise of the right way of life were there for Willy, and she knows that he just missed it. But, despite the grieving done by his family, Willy finally achieves one of his numerous dreams as he is remembered, loved, and a guide for people. Though Willy's life was a life of frustrated hopes and unfulfilled dreams, it is why we revere this tragedy in the highest. Tragedy is the most accurately balanced portrayal of the human being in his struggle for happiness, and that is why tragedies truly portray us. And that is why tragedy must not be diminished: It is the most perfect means we have of showing us who and what we are. As we watch Willy struggle for himself throughout this tragedy, we come to understand what we must strive to become. L.D.S. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Arthur Miller section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Arthur Miller essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Death of a Salesman: Is Willy Loman a tragic hero or a tragic victim?

    5 star(s)

    As Arthur Miller suggests, "the tragic feeling" is brought on "by a character who is ready to lay down his life, if need be, to secure on thing, his sense of personal dignity." 6 Certainly, Willy's suicide can be seen as an act of extreme bravery and selflessness, if it

  2. Quotes from All My Sons

    Father or no father"p117 Abandons her father and believes Joe only to find out she was wrong to do so "Oh Chris, I've been ready for a long, long time" p120 Repetition of long Although she is not responsible for Larry's death a great tragedy in her life she does

  1. Character Analysis - Willy Loman

    Willy is then shown to be guilty, so obviously regrets his affair when he tells Linda off for mending her stockings. He is also shown to be giving his sons bad advice again. He tells Bernard to give Biff the answers.

  2. Explore the theme of Dreams and Escapism within Death of a Salesman and Road

    I can't get over the past, how it was. I just can't". He goes on to further reveal to the audience about the time he spent in the RAF on national service. Similar to Willy, as he is reminiscing, his dream enters into reality.

  1. Death Of A Salesman, Willy Loman analysis

    him from taking up a job with Charley despite his numerous advances offering him a job. Alas this does not stop him from taking money from Charley to pay bills. What is more is that Linda is fully aware of this despite Willy's attempts to hide this from her, which

  2. How does Millers handling of time and memory add to our understanding of tragedy ...

    Miller clearly uses this cyclical ability as a structural time motif to reinforce the message of faith. The requiem serves to be concentrated, and allows us to make a comparison between faith as a spiritual guidance, and Willy's tragedy. In classical Greek tragedy, there was some 'guidance' in one way

  1. An Analysis of the Dramatic Impact of the Restaurant Scene in Death of a ...

    His illusions and constructed reality is falling apart. Biff wants to essentially leave behind all the lies and fake illusions and start a new beginning, one with his father relating to honesty. Willy, however, wants his sons to aid him in constructing a false truth. One that includes reliving the American Dream for him.

  2. Miller presents Will Loman as a failure in many aspects of his life. To ...

    one of the more tragic aspects of the play: Willy's self-delusion and how, through his failure to recognise the reality of Biff's life, this sours their relationship. It should also be noted that when mobile concurrency reveals that Biff discovered Willy's affair with The Woman, this occurs after Biff and Happy have left Willy alone in the restaurant.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work