One of the most well-known examples of a tragic hero in the works of Arthur Miller is the character Willy Loman from the play "Death of a Salesman." "Death of a Salesman" won the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play. The character Willy Loman represents Arthur Miller's belief that the ancient literary form of the tragedy should be democratized.Know More
The concept of the tragic hero in literature takes many shapes according to storyline, but it generally refers to a noble or virtuous protagonist who is destined for a tragic defeat or downfall. The hero or heroine struggles against his fate, fighting valiantly to defeat his foes, yet he succumbs to his destiny in the end. The most famous tragic hero in classical literature is the title character of "Oedipus the King" by Sophocles. Unlike Willy Loman, Oedipus is of noble birth and the story thus fits the standard tragedy where royalty implies the potential for greatness.
In "Death of a Salesman," the characters are average working-class people but with the same potential for greatness through their actions, which play out through ordinary scenes and circumstances. The struggle against fate by Willy Loman involves pitting the past against the present and the perception of dignity against humility. The classic tragic hero storyline is followed as Willy suffers the fate of being displaced, then struggles to overcome that destiny, and finally commits suicide.Learn more about Plays
A crucible is defined as a container that can withstand intense heat and also is a severe test, both of which apply to the subject of the play. Arthur Miller wrote "The Crucible" in 1953, depicting the events of the Salem witch trials of the mid to late 1600s.Full Answer >
An example of a tragic hero in literature is Hamlet in William Shakespeare's "Hamlet" or Oedipus in Sophocles's "Oedipus Plays." The tragic hero in literature is a character who is born of noble birth and heroic traits but is destined to suffer and be destroyed by the gods but who will not accept this fate and fights against it.Full Answer >
As of 2014, there are no sources online to read the full text of "Death of a Salesman." The play does not go into the public domain until 2044, and it has not been published online by the copyright holder.Full Answer >
The political outlook of the playwright Arthur Miller was heavily critical of the United States, the so-called "American dream" and the McCarthyism of the 1950s. He was influenced by his experiences of the Wall Street Crash and Great Depression, which all but destroyed his otherwise affluent parents. Miller considered the Great Depression to have had a defining impact on American culture, one whose reach was comparable to that of the Civil War.Full Answer >