• 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)

    Willy's greatest fear has always been dying with nothing - exactly what happens in the end. A use of dramatic irony by Miller, Willy willingly fulfils his own utmost fear. That quotation is also foreshadowing Willy's death - another intentional device by Miller.

  2. To what extent do you consider Willy Loman a tragic hero?

    We become Willy Loman for a brief time, and his struggle becomes our struggle. Upon detaching our self from the play at the end we feel what is described as catharsis; a cleansing and refreshment of our mind. Considering that I have failed to find unreasoned negativity, we must look

  1. Death Of A Salesman

    We also know that Willy is close to his suicide because he is planting the seeds at the wrong time of the day, which again I think Miller's target here was to give more clues to the audience that Willy was very serious about committing suicide soon.

  2. DEATH OF A SALESMAN

    - Dave Singleman- death of a salesman figure in a way Willy admires him because he thinks what a successful man BUT his name gives away the fact that he is alone SINGLE. - Charley's son Bernard is a huge success in society compared to Biff and Happy.

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

    Howard, his boss, symbolises the ruthless businessman who does well in capitalism. He is similar to Ben, Willy's successful brother who will step over anyone to get what he wants. Ben's ruthless nature is shown when he trips Biff in a play fight - "suddenly comes in, trips BIFF, and

  2. Death of a Salesman Essay

    Miller has shown Willy to be materialistic. As a salesman, he believes that owning expensive, classy and admired items, makes you a better respected person. '... when I had that red Chevvy -' He is always referring to the past, he is never content with what he has but always wanting to have the best.

  1. Death of A Salesman Essay

    'But you didn't rest your mind. Your mind is over active and the mind is what counts, dear' is another example of Linda trying to make Willy feel better about himself so that he still feels proud. Within the play we see examples of the fact that Willy's mind is fragmenting because he contradicts himself on various occasions.

  2. Death of a Salesman

    In other words, Shakespearean tragic heroes should be of noble birth, have a fatal flaw, learn from their mistakes and lastly due to their flaw, this will lead to their downfall. However, the initial idea of the tragic hero had originated in Greek tragedy and it was outlined by Aristotle,

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