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The tragedy of Death of a Salesman has Biff as the central focus, not Willy

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Introduction

The tragedy of Death of a Salesman has Biff as the central focus, not Willy The play Death of a Salesman has many of the features of a tragedy. In the play Biff goes from a popular sportsman with scholarships to universities and high hopes for his future, to a farmhand. His father Willy goes from a salesman with a perfect son to being very unhappy and disappointed in Biff and eventually taking his own life. Biff's tragedy is down to a sudden twist to bad fortunes, peripeteia, when he finds out about his father Willy's affair, this is also the turning point for Willy as afterwards his son turns against him. Most of the drama in the play is because of Biff's actions, but the play focuses on Willy. The dramatic climax in this play is when Biff finds out about Willy's affair, this is a sudden moment of realisation for Biff as he finds out his father is a fake. Willy's tragedy is down to his own error of judgement in cheating on his wife; Biff causes himself to fail by not going to summer school in order to graduate. Willy is the central figure in the play because the play is from his point of view and he falls further than Biff, Willy's tragedy is caused by his own exaggerated self pride, hubris, and an error of judgement. ...read more.

Middle

The write creates conflict in this scene by Willy becoming angered at Biff for not believing him "I gave you an order!" because Biff calls him a fake and Willy doesn't want to hear the truth. This makes him angry because he wants to regain his masculinity and therefore gets angry and shouts at Biff. Willy thinks that being liked can get him anywhere, he replies "The kids like it?" when Biff tells him about why he can't graduate, this quotation shows that Willy doesn't care so much that Biff can't graduate, as long as he is well-liked. He also thinks that he can just fix the problem by being liked by Biff's teacher. The character of the woman reveals that Willy is indecisive and can't decide between the domestic and pleasurable sides of life. The write uses the theme of 'whores and housewives' and how they are used to define Willy, making him the tragic hero. The woman reveals the superficiality of Willy's life. The woman works in an office where Willy sells, which could be why Willy had an affair with her "I'll see that you go right through to the buyers." This shows that although he cares for Linda, his desire for success outweighs his loyalty to her and he cannot see that Linda is more loyal than his company and the people he works for. ...read more.

Conclusion

Willy thinks that Biff is just spiting him and trying to get revenge on him for having the affair "You vengeful, spiteful mut!" and Willy can't see why Biff doesn't want to be successful. But Biff doesn't want the American dream because he doesn't want to turn out like his father, living a lie. "Will you take that phoney dream and burn it" Biff reveals truths his father didn't know, but Willy only hears what he wants to and when Biff has finished, still thinks that Biff can be great and believes that him dying is the only way Biff can make it. He thinks that Biff will love him for killing himself and getting the life insurance money "he'll worship me for it!" And believes that this is his only way of achieving the American dream, through Biff "I always knew one way or another we were gonna make it, Biff and I!" Biff could be the tragic protagonist in this scene because he has fallen from having high hopes and ambitions when he was younger, to believing he is worth nothing. However, the tragic protagonist in this scene is Willy, as a main characteristic of tragic heroes is that they die and it is him that dies, not Biff. Willy has also fallen from being admired and loved by Biff to being blamed for Biff's failures and Biff deciding to walk out on him. ?? ?? ?? ?? Lily Wright 4NCH ...read more.

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