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Madness and Sanity of Tragic Heroes.

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Madness and Sanity of Tragic Heroes In William Shakespeare's Hamlet and Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, each of the two main characters, Hamlet and Willy Loman, are put up to the question of whether they are mad or sane, but in each situation their so-called madness differs. The Shakespearian play Hamlet offers a puzzling main character by presenting an apparent sane man portraying an insane one for revenge. The question of Hamlet's lucidity is perceptible throughout the play. At first glance, the view of Hamlet is simply a heartbroken individual bent on revenge. He is seen having lost a father to death, a mother to remarriage and a kingdom to his uncle in a span of two months. However, as the play progresses extenuating circumstances and events arise that speed the deterioration of his mind. Therefore, the notion of Hamlet being a sane individual playing the role of a madman can be disputed with an in depth analysis of his character and his actions. The temperament of Hamlet can allude to his mindset throughout the play. In other words, by studying Hamlet's view of himself an answer to the stability of his mind is provided. ...read more.


The war was over and people were disillusioned about the American Dream. The belief that failure was not always the fault of the individual was floating around because of the stock market crash. These hardships created a mind set that made an entire generation realize that to get ahead, individuals must work diligently, and not rely on anyone besides themselves to achieve success. In Death of a Salesman, the protagonist Willy Loman can not see past his self-established and maintained limitations to achieve wealth, which is what Willy views as one of the only important goals in life, and his attempts at achieving wealth are what ultimately causes his downfall. All throughout his life, Willy has been a failure to himself and to his family. The first failure in his life was when he decides not to accompany his older brother Ben on an expedition to Alaska to find their father who had abandoned them in a search for personal wealth. Ben was supposed to go to Alaska, but instead, he ended up discovering an African diamond mind and became rich only a few years. The thought of becoming rich in less than ten years by the mistake of a third party, in this case whoever ...read more.


He chose to become a salesman. He decided that money was the only important thing in his life. Because of his wrong decisions, he ultimately ended up becoming a failure in life. His only noble gesture is his final one when he decides to take his life at an attempt to get money for Biff to use to start a business venture which will obviously fail due to the self-centeredness of the founders "The Loman Brothers." In the end, Willy Loman failed to achieve his lifelong goal of becoming a rich, well-liked man in his community, and what drove him to madness and eventually to his demise was money. The madness of Hamlet and Willy Loman finally lead them to their ultimate destiny: the destruction of themselves. By the end of each of the plays, Hamlet and Willy are in fantasy worlds. Here, they are not affected by anything that might happen. They simply do not care anymore. By examining both Hamlet and Willy Loman, the readers see that they are not completely mad but maybe disillusioned. There are times when they can be fine and times when the madness overtakes them. So in determining whether or not they are mad would be a difficult task. Although the cause of their madness differs, the end of both is the same. ...read more.

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