A tragic hero is known to be the protagonist who causes his own downfall, is seen as
greater than the average man, and is aware of his misfortune. In Arthur Miller’s Death of
a Salesman Willy Loman is the protagonist. Willy Loman illustrates significant
characteristics of a tragic hero.
Willy Loman achieves “recognition.” Willy, like Aristotle’s description of the
tragic hero, moves “from ignorance to knowledge”(Aristotle 190). Willy is ignorant of
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affair with a woman in Boston. The success that Willy tries so hard to achieve in
the business world is what causes his failure to obtain success in his personal life.
Willy Loman illustrates significant characteristics of a tragic hero. Many
decisions made by Willy cause his downfall. Through his actions and the course of
events it becomes clear that Willy Loman is a modern tragic hero.
Death of a Salesman by Arthor Miller