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Willy Loman: The Tragic Hero

Uploaded by clarkie12 on Jul 14, 2004

A tragic hero is a character who in spite of a basic goodness and authority, has a tragic flaw, and because of this fault is destined to fail. A true tragic hero or heroine recognizes his or her flaw/s, but typically not until it is too late to stop to downward spiral. A few examples of tragic heroes and heroines are from the many works of Shakespeare such as Julius Caesar, Oedipus, Antigone, and Hamlet. In Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, Willy Loman, the tragic hero, has so many flaws that end up in suicide before he has a chance to resolve them.

To begin with, one of Willy’s biggest tragic flaws is his failure of being a good father. And does not hold a rightful position in his family. Willy is not a good father for many reasons. He always made his job his first priority. Willy’s travels were extensive, and he never got the opportunity to get to know his sons. From this he did not love Biff and Happy like a father should. His love for Biff is based on his achievement as an athlete and when Biff loses the scholarship, Will was so mad that he no longer loved Biff as he once did. Since Biff lost his scholarship he moved out West to find a job. When Willy found out that Biff was a cattle herder he was very disgusted. Willy wanted Biff to be the success that he never was and feels that Biff will not achieve success in the occupation that he is now holding. In all aspects, Willy has failed to be a good father. Instead as a father, he is a pathetic and selfish failure which is furthermore defined in every other aspect of his life.

Next, Willy was also a bad husband to Linda. Linda was very loyal, loving and selfless when it came to Willy. She even dealt with Willy’s extravagant dreams and self-delusions. Besides the dreams Linda had to deal with Willy and his constant yelling at her for no reason or when she would try to input her advice in various situations. While Biff and Happy were in high school and Willy was on the rode, Willy had an affair with The Woman. Willy had no real reason to have slept with her, it was only because he was feeling lonely on the rode without Linda....

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Uploaded by:   clarkie12

Date:   07/14/2004

Category:   Death of a Salesman

Length:   4 pages (828 words)

Views:   4595

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