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Aristotle tragic hero

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 3 (749 words)
Categories: Aristotle, Hero, Tragic Hero
Downloads: 49
Views: 1

“All My Sons” is a modern tragedy by Arthur Miller that presents the themes and ideas of denial, blame and the American dream. Joe Keller is the ‘ordinary’ man, hence his name suggesting ‘ordinary Joe’. He is at the heart of the tragedy, along with his family, as we hear of their missing son lost during the war serving his country. During this time Joe used his business of making engine cylinders, to get involved in war profiteering; this is someone or a business that improperly profits from warfare by selling weapons and other goods to parties at war.

Joe’s engines cylinders were used in fighter planes, which his son flew. Due to faulty cylinders, which Joe knew about yet still sent off to the army, men died. This brought his close colleague and friend imprisonment and brought shame to his wife, Kate and his son, Chris. Throughout the tragedy, Joe Keller fits with the conventional Aristotle idea of tragic hero, but Arthur Miller also offers a different perspective.

Here Joe Keller will be compared to the classical model of a tragic hero, on how he relates and differs, looking closely at how Arthur Miller specifically conveys him differently. Many say that Joe fits with the conventional and typical Aristotle tragic hero. Like many others just after the war, Joe lives a simple life. But ironically to this we soon see that his life is not as simple as we first believed and as first he believed.

Joe lives a life of denial and isolates himself from anything that doesn’t fit with the ideas that he believes in. Like many other characters in the play Joe is happy to play out his life living in denial and not having to face up to the truth, for example his wife who after three years is still adamant her son, Larry, who we believe to be lost is still alive, yet we, as the audience understand other character such as Chris have come to deal with the idea of Larry never coming back.

Aristotle says ‘the tragic hero is a great man, one of those who stand in great repute and prosperity’ and that ‘the hero is neither a villain, nor a model of perfection but is basically good and decent. Similarly to this, Arthur Miller gives Joe these characteristics. To the audience throughout the play he seems a nice, kind man that we grow to like. We see this specifically in the play by his warm nature towards his neighbours.

He allows them to come sit and chat in his garden no matter what time, he allows them to borrow and take herbs from his garden without question, another way in which we see his kind side is with the child character of Bert, although we haven’t seen or heard from Bert before, by the way he speaks of the jail game with Joe we can tell this game has been going on for quite a while and that although we see Kate on edge by the whole charade, Joe is calm and has a laugh with Bert, this makes the audience warm to Joe.

Miller does to gain sympathy for Joe, in the overall conclusion of the tragedy. As the audience watching a tragedy we know a sad ending is coming for the tragic hero, so by allowing his to see him as a good decent man that is not perfect but has made one mistake, we maintain respect for him and are overall sympathetic. Aristotle says “A man cannot become a hero until he can see the root of his own downfall. ” In ‘All My Son’s”, Many say that Joe fits with the conventional and typical Aristotle tragic hero. Like many others just after the war, Joe lives a simple life.

But ironically to this we soon see that his life is not as simple as we first believed and as first he believed. Joe lives a life of denial and isolates himself from anything that doesn’t fit with the ideas that he believes in. Like other characters in the play Joe is happy to play out his life living in denial and not having to face up to the truth, for example his wife who after three years is still adamant her son, Larry, who we believe to be lost is still alive, yet we, as the audience understand other character such as Chris have come to deal with the idea of Larry never coming back.

Cite this essay

Aristotle tragic hero. (2020, Jun 01). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/aristotle-tragic-hero-2005-new-essay

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