Death of a Salesman - Requiem

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Katie Bristow

Shakespeare’s tragic heroes left their audience with lessons to be learned and other characters in the play gained knowledge and understanding with reference to the Requiem to what extent does this happen in Death of a salesman?

Death of a Salesman reflects on modern day tragedy. It shows the downfall of Willy Loman and how he has always dreamed of a better life for his family and himself however his ‘American dream’ has always been futile and unattainable. Death of a Salesman ends with the death of Willy due to his suicide and is then followed by the requiem which is his funeral.

  “But where are all the people he knew? Maybe they blame him?” Linda is speaking to her son’s and Charley at Willy’s funeral. She is confused at why Willy has no friends or colleges who attended his funeral. This is an indication that Willy was not popular and well-liked as he made out. Miller is conveying the fact that Willy has always lied about his life. He exaggerated to his family to ‘show off’ however, this did not work in his favour; all this achieved was polluting his son’s minds with false importance and futile dreams.

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  “He had all the wrong dreams. All, all, wrong.” Here Biff may be referring to the American Dream of which Willy longed for. The audience can see that Biff can see that Willy was chasing an impossible dream, and could even say he has wasted his life trying to achieve this dream of his. This shows that Biff has indeed learnt a lesson and will not follow in the same footsteps as his father Willy. In this scene Charley defends Willy saying that “A salesman is got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory.” This is another example ...

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