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Willy Loman as a Tragic Hero Willy Loman the troubled father and husband in Arthur Millers Death of a Salesman can be classified as a tragic hero as defined by Aristotle in his works Poetics In Aristotles text a tragic hero was defined as one who falls from grace into a state of extreme unhappiness Willy as we are introduced to him becomes increasingly miserable as he progresses from a dedicated loving father though not without flaws into a suicidal delusional man The definition of a tragic hero as stated in Poetics also describes a person who is influential and is of significance to others Though in actuality Willy Loman may not possess these characteristics he perceives himself as having them as he cares for himself his children and his wife A final distinction noted by Aristotle was that a tragic hero is not a bad person deserving of his impending misfortune but instead has made a series of mistakes leading to his downfall We can see that Willy does not purposely create this harmful situation for himself he is only ignorant that certain actions of his are wrong which contribute to his self-ruin Willy Loman thusly personifies the attributes of a tragic hero as proposed by Aristotle Willy with a house a car a job two sons whom he adores and a supportive caring wife seems to have everything that any man could ever want He manages however to alienate himself from these things that he loves near the end of the play as he slips into a self-induced state of altered reality Willy being lonelyterribly lonely 1850 has an affair with a woman during his marriage to Linda Even though she is not aware of this or makes no mention of it he is destroying his greatest source of support Linda is the only one in the Loman family who seems to never give up on Willy
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