A tragic figure is a characteristic of a dramatic tragedy. Willy is the protagonist

of the play. All his life he wanted to have the American dream. He was so
concerned about making it big; he did not even realize his whole life was
crumbling right underneath him. His family was falling apart and eventually so
did he. Many people have argued that Willy is no tragic hero. There are four
elements to qualify as tragic figure ; noble or impressive character, the main
character's discovery or recognition of a truth about himself, poetic language,
and the ability to arouse and then soothe the audience's pity and fear. Who says
that a tragic hero has to have all those four elements?

Some people say that Willy has all those four elements, and others think Willy is
no one special. Willy realizes a truth about himself in the play and that is that he
is a failure as a salesman, husband and father. He cheats on his wife and buys
silk stocking for his mistress, but yet can’t afford any for his wife. He leads his
sons in the wrong direction by telling them stealing is alright. As well he goes to
Yonkers and comes home empty handed and has to borrow from Charley. Does
this not qualify as the main character's discovery a truth about himself? Willy is a
noble character because he provides for his family even though he borrows from
Charley he makes sure everything is there for his family. Is that a noble

Willy did not let his pride get in the way when he asked Charley for money
every week; he sacrificed for his family is that not being noble? Arthur Miller uses
metaphors and poetic language. Here are some examples Act I"A man is not a
bird, to come and go with the springtime", Act II "Be loving to him, because he's
only a little boat looking for a harbor.” The Audience feels pity for Willy because
what he is doing is not living; but when Willy has a flashback on when his sons
looked up to him and thought of him as hero the audience feels no pity for him.
Instead they are happy for him. A tragic figure has four elements and Willy
Loman does qualify as a tragic figure.

Willy Loman is a tragic figure because he died at the end of the play. Willy

Loman was the main reason for his own downfall. He cheats on his wife; he gets

fired because he is not needed. He lived a lie, and told his sons stealing was

okay. Just before he dies he says that by him will save Biff. Willy

believed that once he died that so many people would go to his funeral; but only

five people went and this proved that Willy lived a lie until he died. Willy Loman

is a tragic figure.

Explain Bot Explain Bot answered
8 months ago

To determine whether Willy Loman qualifies as a tragic figure, we need to examine the four elements typically associated with tragic heroes: noble or impressive character, the main character's discovery or recognition of a truth about himself, poetic language, and the ability to arouse and soothe the audience's pity and fear.

1. Noble or Impressive Character: Some argue that Willy Loman possesses noble qualities because he provides for his family and sacrifices for them. Despite his flaws, he strives to fulfill the American Dream and take care of his loved ones. Others may argue that Willy is not noble, considering his infidelity, dishonesty, and negative influence on his sons. Whether or not Willy is considered noble is subjective and open to interpretation.

2. Main Character's Discovery of a Truth: Willy does experience a significant revelation about himself throughout the play. He realizes that he is a failure as a salesman, husband, and father. This realization dawns on him as his life crumbles around him, leading to a deeper understanding of his own shortcomings and mistakes.

3. Poetic Language: Arthur Miller, the playwright, uses metaphors and poetic language in the script to enhance the emotional impact of the play. Although the presence of poetic language can engage the audience and add depth to the character's portrayal, it alone does not determine whether a character qualifies as a tragic figure.

4. Arouse and Soothe the Audience's Pity and Fear: Willy evokes both pity and fear from the audience. We empathize with his struggles and witness his descent into despair. We feel pity for him as he faces the consequences of his actions and the realization of his failures. However, the audience may also feel fear as they confront the human flaws and vulnerabilities that lead to Willy's tragic downfall.

It's important to note that not all tragic heroes need to exhibit all four elements. Tragedy is subjective and can be interpreted differently by different individuals. Some people may argue that Willy Loman meets the criteria for a tragic figure due to his significant character development and the emotional impact he has on the audience. Others may hold a different opinion. In the end, whether or not Willy Loman is considered a tragic figure is a matter of personal interpretation and perspective.

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