University of the Pacific University of the Pacific Scholarly Commons University of the Pacific Theses and Dissertations Graduate School 1962 Arthur Miller's concept of tragedy Arthur Miller's concept of tragedy Howard James Stark University of the Pacific Follow this and additional works at: Part of the English Language and Literature Commons Recommended Citation Recommended Citation Stark, Howard James. (1962). Arthur Miller's concept of tragedy. University of the Pacific, Thesis. This Thesis is brought to you for free and open access by the Graduate School at Scholarly Commons. It has been accepted for inclusion in University of the Pacific Theses and Dissertations by an authorized administrator of Scholarly Commons. For more information, please contact [email protected].
ARTHUR IviiLLER' S CONCEPT OJ<' TRAGEDY A Thesis Presented to the culty of the Department of English University of the Pacific In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts by Howard James Stark
This thesis is approved for recommendation to the Graduate CounciL Department Chairman or Dean: Thesis Committee: ~Cfa~w"(l"'"'. "'-' _C.l>o<1~. _.:::::~~~~~ ""'"""""l;;.L,III~--' Chairman I },_ );~~ah(\, ~ )}l~LJ!b.
CHAPTER I THE PRO BL lTl-1 In recent years, Arthur Miller has been the subject of much critical debate. Numerous critics have stated that his plays are not true tragedies because they do not meet the requirements for tragic drama. Several other critics, however, attempting to come to f,liller' s defense, have stated just the opposite. So far, the situation has not been resolved; and there appears to be little chance that it will, considering the manner in which both Miller's defenders and censors have been approaching the problem. First, they have been brandishing about a term v,rhich does not carry the same meaning for each of them. They have been forcing this term, with all its ramifications, upon Miller's plays in order to make some erudite statement about the plays. Each has been attempting to justify his position by comparing Miller's plays and his tragic heroes with plays and heroes that sym-bolize best his own interpretation of tragedy. This approach is inconsistent, contradictory, and illogical; for it shows that the critics are examining Miller's plays not as literary expressions unique in themselves but by standards which are far toooften completely irrelevant to the situation. Also, this approach forces the critics to examine the plays out of context, thereby destroying their relevancy. It is to this
problem that attention must b~ paid first. The term 11tragedy11 has been and still is the £.!J!.2S 1 criticorum of drama. The desire to define this enigmatic term has been taxing the ingenuity of critics for centuries.