Posted by Willy! on Thursday, December 7, 2006 at 7:19pm.
A tragic figure is a characteristic of a dramatic tragedy. Willy is the protagonist
of the play. All his life he wanted to have the American dream. He was so
concerned about making it big; he did not even realize his whole life was
crumbling right underneath him. His family was falling apart and eventually so
did he. Many people have argued that Willy is no tragic hero. There are four
elements to qualify as tragic figure ; noble or impressive character, the main
character's discovery or recognition of a truth about himself, poetic language,
and the ability to arouse and then soothe the audience's pity and fear. Who says
that a tragic hero has to have all those four elements?
Some people say that Willy has all those four elements, and others think Willy is
no one special. Willy realizes a truth about himself in the play and that is that he
is a failure as a salesman, husband and father. He cheats on his wife and buys
silk stocking for his mistress, but yet can’t afford any for his wife. He leads his
sons in the wrong direction by telling them stealing is alright. As well he goes to
Yonkers and comes home empty handed and has to borrow from Charley. Does
this not qualify as the main character's discovery a truth about himself? Willy is a
noble character because he provides for his family even though he borrows from
Charley he makes sure everything is there for his family. Is that a noble
Willy did not let his pride get in the way when he asked Charley for money
every week; he sacrificed for his family is that not being noble? Arthur Miller uses
metaphors and poetic language. Here are some examples Act I"A man is not a
bird, to come and go with the springtime", Act II "Be loving to him, because he's
only a little boat looking for a harbor.” The Audience feels pity for Willy because
what he is doing is not living; but when Willy has a flashback on when his sons
looked up to him and thought of him as hero the audience feels no pity for him.
Instead they are happy for him. A tragic figure has four elements and Willy
Loman does qualify as a tragic figure.
Willy Loman is a tragic figure because he died at the end of the play. Willy
Loman was the main reason for his own downfall. He cheats on his wife; he gets
fired because he is not needed. He lived a lie, and told his sons stealing was
okay. Just before he dies he says that by him killing himself will save Biff. Willy
believed that once he died that so many people would go to his funeral; but only
five people went and this proved that Willy lived a lie until he died. Willy Loman
is a tragic figure.
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