Tragic Heroes Comparison Essay by writingsensation

Tragic Heroes
This well-researched paper reviews and analyzes the similarities and differences in the main characters of Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" and Oedipus in Sophocles' "Oedipus Rex."
# 68768 | 1,939 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2005 | US

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This paper examines Aristotle's theory which states that a hero can be tragic, but only if he comes from a noble or royal background. The Greek philosopher's theory also requires the protagonist to experience a catharsis which is necessary in tragic literature, so that the reader feels emotions of pity and fear as they witness the suffering of the main character. This paper examines how Aristotle's theory applies to both the characters of Oedipus and Willy Loman. The writer contends and explains the manner in which Willy and Oedipus suffer as the result of alternating between two emotional states which eventually reveal their tragic flaws. This paper details the various characteristics of Willy and Oedipus while citing the similarities and differences in both men. This paper explores why Oedipus and Willy are both guilty of making bad decisions which contribute to their relative flaws.

From the Paper:

"Similar to Oedipus, Willy makes mistakes that reveal his tragic flaw. Willy is just as blind as Oedipus in that he refuses to see things as they really are. Willy lives and has always lived in a dream and, as a result, has never been able to face reality. It is easier for Willy to believe in the fantasy than face reality. An example of this can be seen when he believes that he will "knock Howard for a loop" (Miller II.1070-1) and he will "get an advance, and I'll come home with a New York job" (II.1071). Willy's failure to see the truth about his life is his tragic flaw. Like Oedipus, he compounds his flaw. For Willy, this manifests itself in the form of not admitting that he has made any mistakes. Because he refuses to accept Charley's job offer, he is refusing to admit that he has done anything wrong. It is easier for him to ask Charley for a loan because accepting a job would mean admitting defeat. Like Oedipus, Willy is unable to recognize the truth about his life. When it comes to tragic flaws, Oedipus and Willy share some similarities."

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APA Format

Tragic Heroes (2006, September 10) Retrieved April 04, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Tragic Heroes" 10 September 2006. Web. 04 April. 2020. <>