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A Tragedy or Not a Tragedy That is the Question Tragedy or not That is the question Is Death of a Salesman correctly labeled as a tragedy according to the Aristotelian view of a tragedy To determine this the Aristotelian views should be examined along with the play to determine whether or not the play fits the description of an Aristotelian view of a tragedy Throughout the reading of Death of a Salesman it becomes clear that the author did not intend to create an Aristotelian tragedy because the play simply does not fit Aristotles criteria There are several distinct characteristics that define a tragedy The first is that the tragedy tells a story based on a series of cause and effect events in the life of a person Tragedy according to Aristotle Further these events of the plot lead to a catastrophe usually some sort of disaster that may have been expected or deserved Another characteristic of a tragedy is that the drama is one of great dignity or serious Tragedy according to Aristotle In other words the drama must be of serious magnitude which allows the hero to pass by a series of probable necessary stages from happiness to misfortune or vice versa Aristotle 16 And with the last characteristic of a tragedy the protagonist must be neither completely good nor completely bad Tragedy according to Aristotle Next the characteristics of a tragic hero should be examined These should include someone who is highly renowned or prosperous Tragedy according to Aristotle or of a persons better than the average man Aristotle 27 or a noble person This protagonist must have a tragic flaw which leads to his misery And finally by the end of the play the protagonist must recognize his own error and accepts the consequences Tragedy according to Aristotle Finally there is the audience reaction to the plot in the tragedy The audience should feel pity for the following
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