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Death of a Salesman Tragic Hero - STA,1 Ken Staley English...

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STA,1 Ken Staley English Comp. 2 Professor Scott Lee DeNier 06-11-08 Death of a Salesman: Is Willy Loman a Tragic Hero? Well over two thousand years ago, the Greeks took note of human suffering, and made an art form out of it. This art form would become known as tragedy and it shapes our lives even today. The story “Death of a Salesman,” is a modern day tragedy that emphasizes many of the ideals that the Greeks portrayed in their tragedies over two thousand years ago. The protagonist, Willy Loman, is an old traveling salesman whose best days are behind him. His two sons Biff and Happy, are in their thirties and are not doing well on their own. Linda, Willy’s wife, lives only for the best interest of Willy. In a push to keep a broken family together, Willy and Biff attempt to embark on different job opportunities, with negative results following them throughout their journey. In the end, Willy’s past catches up to him, which results in his eventual suicide. Aristotle’s basic idea of traits of a tragic hero are as followed; “The tragic hero is a character of noble stature and has greatness.
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