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Man is here too little and too passive to play the tragic heroIn Death of a Salesman Miller presents us with a new version of what we define as tragedy If we look to the Greek plays such as Oedipus Rex we are shown very fixed ideas of tragedy that involve a hero falling from high stature to the depths of depravity by the mistakes that he has made Indeed Aristotle termed tragedy as downfall that was not the fault of the hero However he produced his definitions based largely on The Theban Plays and so perhaps gives us reason to question these archaic prescriptive terms Moreover if we are to ascertain whether or not Willy Lowman is able to play the tragic hero we must surmise how effectively Millers writing conforms to our preconceptions of the tragedy genre It would be luxurious to suppose that these preconceptions are changeable for to give the above quote any credence we are acknowledging the tragic hero as being one of many such figures that have made literary fame or indeed infamy before it Miller has willingly spoken of his play as being tragic and calls on the reader and his critics to acknowledge it so I believe that the common man is as apt a subject for tragedy in its highest sense as kings were 1949 cited Weales 1967 This view forces us to question our initial interpretations of the tragic hero Miller writes in a way that forces us to see each character as symbolic and not as individuals and we may argue that this gives the story a certain myth However what seems more likely is that the characters have no individuality in areas such as what Willy sells or his name Low-man so that we perceive them in the same way they feel they are perceived by others If we examine for one moment the more confident and separate the character is from the
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