The Fall of Two Great Men and Death of a Salesman

Essay by ali2k4High School, 10th gradeB, December 2007

download word file, 3 pages 4.3

Ali Ahmed � DATE \@ "M/d/yyyy" �5/24/2006�

The Fall of Two Great Men - King Lear and Death of a Salesman comparative essay

In many stories, the role of protagonist is to endure hardship and losses but regardless, the resolution in these stories tends to be a happy ending. However, some writers such as William Shakespeare and Arthur Miller prefer more tragic endings for their protagonists. Although the protagonists enjoy a happy life in the beginning of both King Lear and Death of a Salesman, we quickly see their uprising hardship, loss, and their inevitable destruction. Not only the destruction of their surroundings but of their civilization, their family, and most importantly of themselves.

In the beginning of the Shakespeare's play King Lear, we see Lear as a strong and dominant ruler of the kingdom. His temper shows arrogance and that he is of strict judgment, which is first seen against Cordelia and Kent as they had both unpleased Lear by saying something he did not wish to hear.

Cordelia [Aside]: "What shall Cordelia do? Love, and be silent."(Shakespeare, Act I,i, 62-63). This marks the beginning of the downfall of social order. This begins the collapse the great chain of being. Once the king surrenders the kingdom to his corrupted daughters, Goneril and Regan (whom he finds loyal), its only matter of time before social order ceases to exist. This also shows the breakdown of family as Cordelia was to marry the king of France due to her banishment set forth by Lear himself. Goneril and Regan plot the end of Lear's kingdom by totally removing his title as king from the kingdom.

Although set hundreds of years apart, Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, faces a similar crisis. Although initially seen as a happy family,