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Death of a Salesman Essay & Criticism

This Study Guide consists of approximately 65 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Death of a Salesman.
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Critical Overview

Since its debut performance in 1949, Death of a Salesman has brought audiences to tears. Critical debate rages, however, over Willy Loman's stature as a tragic hero. In the classic definition of tragedy, the hero is a person of high stature brought low by an insurmountable flaw in his or her character, known as the "tragic flaw." Some scholars argue that Willy is pathetic rather than tragic, because he is not a great man who loses his stature because of something he does, but a common man who is largely a victim of a society in which the odds are stacked against him. For instance, Eric Mottram contended in Arthur Miller: A Collection of Critical Essays that Willy represents "what happens to an ordinarily uneducated man in an unjust competitive society in which men are victimized by false gods. His fate is not tragic. There is nothing of the...

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This section contains 814 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Death of a Salesman Study Guide
Copyrights
Death of a Salesman from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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