Can Willy Loman be Considered a Tragic Hero? Arthur Miller Death Of A Salesman

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Willy Loman

Tragic Hero?

Aaron Odom

"Willy Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He's not the finest character that ever lived." This line from Death of a Salesman is a great summation of Willy Loman. By definition, a tragic hero is the main character of a story who suffers from a tragic flaw that eventually causes his downfall. Willy's flaws consisted of his dimensia, his failure at raising his two sons the right way, and his poor treatment of his wife. All of these things eventually led to his suicide.

Willy's dementia helped lead to his downfall in many ways. He would often drift off while talking to people, or begin conversations with people in his mind. Willy could very easily become confused, and he would completely lose track of when and where he was. This hurt his life at home and at work.

At sixty-three he did not realize that he wasn't as well known as when he was younger, and he believed that he was still as popular and handsome as he had been. People saw Willy as an old man who was drifting away, not as the man he once was. Because of his illness, Willy was not able to put two and two together to find out how warped his sense of reality really was.

When it came to his sons, Willy was indeed a failure in teaching them good morals and how to deal with situations in life. Biff was his favorite son, and Willy often completely overlooked Happy. This came back to bite Willy as his son's grew older. An example of this is when the boys take Willy to dinner. Instead of helping their dad when he started drifting into his fantasy world,