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

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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.


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.


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.

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