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

Critics accuse miller of failing to do this in the death of a salesman. Give your opinion referring closely to the play for evidence...

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

We can see that Miller offers a new perspective on the idea of the tragic hero as Shakespeare saw it. Shakespeare's heroes left their audiences with lessons to be learned and other characters in the play gained knowledge and understanding. Critics accuse miller of failing to do this in the death of a salesman. Give your opinion referring closely to the play for evidence... "Death of a salesman" follows the later life of Willy Loman who struggled to make a living in the twentieth-century industrialised society in which he found himself. The pressure to succeed slowly ate away at Willy because it seemed that no matter how hard he tried, circumstances continually seemed to conspire against him and eventually he was overwhelmed. Willy Loman could be seen as a tragic hero for several reasons; however there are some things that set him apart from the tragic heroes of Shakespeare. This essay sets out to analyse the details of Willy's life and personality which support or contradict the statement that Willy Loman is in fact, "a tragic hero". One thing that makes Willy Loman different to any Shakespearian tragic hero is the fact that he is not of noble birth. ...read more.

Middle

For example when he asked Howard for a job closer to home in act two, he says "I gotta earn money, Howard" then later on in the same conversation he explains "I can't throw myself on my sons." These examples of dialogue explain how Willy is persistent and too proud to let himself be pushed aside by Howard, a young and successful business man. He feels a duty towards his boys. Loman put his boys and Linda before himself at all times and Miller felt that this was as heroic as anything that Romeo had accomplished. In the end, Willy sacrificed his own life on behalf of his family. This was ironic because the only way that Willy could save himself and his children from the "dog eat dog" financial world that surrounded him, was by taking his own life. Willy calculated that he was worth more dead than alive to Linda and the boys and therefore he did what he felt had to be done. This was an act of heroism because he sacrificed his own life so that those he cared about most could live a better life, even if it was without him. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the play, when Willy was happy due to his wages, Linda would often point out how much they owed on everything. Willy then felt overwhelmed and said "My God, if business don't pick up I don't know what I'm gonna do!" Linda would then reassure Willy and tell him "Well, next week you'll do better" So through this one line miller has conveyed many points including, 1. Linda had to lie to Willy so that he did not feel insecure about his job family and life; the truth would hurt too deeply. 2. she is following the American dream but to no avail because she hopes that Willy will pay off the debts but in reality she knows it is unlikely, and 3. How it is in fact that in the idealist society the man should be holding things together when it is in fact the wife who is holding them together at the seams. In conclusion I feel that Willy Loman is a tragic hero. Even though he was not of noble birth, Willy Loman demonstrated that any man can be an outstanding example of heroism no matter how many flaws and difficulties they have. Miller has made this point perfectly and has, through this book, described the society in which we all live in today. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Arthur Miller essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Can 'Death of a Salesman' be Described as a Tragedy?

    4 star(s)

    Besides his pride, another flaw of Willy is very poor and deteriorating mental health and he is subject to random flashbacks and hallucinations - often of his dead and once very successful older brother, Ben, someone Willy idolizes. An example of one of his hallucinations is when Willy says, "Ben,

  2. Of death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller says, "…it is really a love story ...

    listen to Willy and this can only be done if their bond is strong. This is proven because when their relationship is very unstable, Biff does not want to listen to Willy and therefore he cannot follow the American Dream.

  1. Death of a Salesman

    Having discussed why Willy Loman cannot be considered to be a tragic hero, I will now discuss why he can be referred to as a tragic hero. From Willy's death, I know that it was attributable to his flaws. This suggests that he is a tragic hero, as Shakespearean tragic heroes too died because of their faults.

  2. Death Of A Salesman

    Happy in a way is brainwashed into thinking that he can reach the 'American Dream' easily because Willy said you just need to be well-liked and masculine when he was younger. Happy is trapped in his own world creating the same tragedy which has already been lived by his father Willy Loman.

  1. DEATH OF A SALESMAN

    They are a dysfunctional family. - Linda is patronised by the masculinity of Biff Happy and Willy. - Willy's father left when he was young, and therefore Willy compensates to his own sons - Mythpolosises.??? - When Willy talks about his father to his fantasy figure of Ben, he says his father is heroic and temporary figure.

  2. How does Arthur Miller portray the dramatic significance of Willy Loman's meeting with Howard ...

    He is financially secure and is wealthy, which is important in a country where your success or failure is measured by how much money you have. Howard is not however a self-made man. He did not build up a successful business from scratch but has had the luxury of building on his father's previous hard work.

  1. "Death of a Salesman" written by Arthur Miller in 1948 attempts to give the ...

    The language presented by the characters however, is by no means invariant. Different characters use different language to expose their personalities, as well as varying it themselves depending on their current inner state of mind. The two most blatant examples of the way characters vary their language are Willy and Linda.

  2. Discuss the Importance of Dreams in "Death of a Salesman"

    She is keeping up the facade for the sake of her family and perhaps she thinks she can fool herself into believing everything is all right. Although unspoken for much of the play, this is Linda's way of creating a fantasy as opposed to her unsatisfactory life.

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