Tragic Heroes Comparison Essay by justpeachy

Tragic Heroes
Compares Sophocles's Oedipus and Arthur Miller's Willy Loman, using Aristotle's definition of a tragic hero.
# 58310 | 1,539 words | 2 sources | 2004 | US

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Oedipus Rex of the play by Sophocles and Willy Loman from Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" are both tragic heroes according to Aristotle's definition from his work, "Poetics". This paper shows how both characters fit into the tragic hero mold as they cannot control and are oblivious of their circumstances, and they suffer a fall from grace or power.

From the Paper:

"Oedipus is a classical example of the tragic hero; fated at birth to kill his father and marry his mother, and having no conception of his true self. The irony lies in the fact that although he is a king and controls the lives of many, he cannot control his own destiny. Further, though Oedipus knows of his intended fate, he does not know who he really is, therefore all the steps he takes to control his situation are in vain. It is also ironic that, even when they are presented with the facts through the messenger's tale, both Oedipus and his wife Iocaste appear to stubbornly ignore the truth. The sense of tragic irony that permeates the play is made obvious by the fact that they both become aware of the strikingly similar curses placed upon each of them yet fail to make the obvious connection."

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

Tragic Heroes (2005, May 05) Retrieved April 18, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Tragic Heroes" 05 May 2005. Web. 18 April. 2021. <>