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Paper Topic:

Compare and contrast Willie Loman and Oedipus as tragic heros (as defined by Aristotle).

Willie Loman vs . Oedipus

As Tragic Hero

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Art imitates life and is a mirror of our inherent complexities of our nature we uphold . It should be very true to our life . These are the words of Aristotle , a great Greek philosopher , who made tragedy a genre something to implore upon . He said tragic plays should depict something very terrible , pity and deplorable catching the audience and make them plunge into the catharsis of emotions . Only a dislocated hero with a

power to envisage his own downfall is a true Aristotelian tragic hero

Both Oedipus the King ' by Sophocles written in 429 BC and Death of a Salesman ' by Arthur Miller written in 1949 is an enigma of tragedy . Oedipus the King ' is a tragedy foretold and Death of a Salesman ' is a tragedy because of subsequent actions of protagonist Both the spanned the genre of tragic plays by bringing in the characters ' dilemma in darker shades in their relationship with their contemporary societies

The following is this comparison between Willie Loman as an ordinary salesman of 1949 and Oedipus , the king of the centuries past but both have one thing in common they are both deemed as great tragic heroes

Sophocles ' Oedipus the King was noble and possessed with virtuous qualities , whereas Willie Loman of Death of a Salesman ' was an ordinary man of materialistic world of 1949 yet both owed their tragic death to the inherent flaw in their character . In the words of Aristotle , they had hamartia-the most crucial element in the hero 's nature that would ultimately lead to his downfall

While comparing Willie Loman and Oedipus , it becomes quite clear that both of them tried to overcome their obstacles to avoid any possibility of failure . On one hand was Willie Loman , who was very hard working and cherished his dreams to make riches in American world whereas on the other hand was King Oedipus who was noble and wanted to get rid of town from plague . He was proud , boastful and wanted to maintain his position and protect his people . Both the characters imbibed in their nature willingness to bring about happiness in their simple lives . With similar motivational level and corporeal struggle , they strove to achieve wealth and satisfaction respectively in their lives but both failed . The efforts they made to rise in their struggles and the way their decent began vary in certain degree . And it is quite true that only one with more `Letter and Spirit ' would clear the concept of Aristotle 's version of tragic hero

Willie Loman 's pursuit of the American dream as a salesman and quest for happiness only became an archetypal of the tragic consequences . The fact was that it was 1949 , the period of change and so was the change of the selling methods but Willie Loman did not change . Willie was not able to adjust himself to change when competition was on the rise . He was...

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