Essay, Pages 2 (305 words)
In Arthur Miller’s essay entitled “tragedy and the Common Man,” he explained the importance to depict characters a tragic figures worthy of great literature just as important as the great tragic heroes of Greek plays. In this essay he sets out his own idea of tragedy and the tragic hero. He demonstrates that it is possible for everyone to identify with the tragic hero. He redefined tragedy as a more common occurrence than what might possibly happen in such tragedies as portrayed by Shakespeare and Euripides, thus defining Death of a Salesman as a tragedy.
Written in 1949 as an article in the New York Times, he stated that modern tragedies and problems in plays have similar definition and with that strives a goal that is socially based. I can say that Death of a salesman is possibly considered both a modern tragedy and a problem play. His article states that “Our lack of tragedy may be partially accounted for by the turn which modern literature has taken toward the purely psychiatric view of life, or the purely sociological.
If all our miseries, our indignities, are born and bred within our minds, then all action, let alone the heroic action, is obviously impossible” (Miller, “Tragedy and the Common Man”. 1949)
Millers meaning of tragedy implies that the tragedy of the common man is the underlying struggle of the individual’s attempt to gain rightful position in the society. The catalyst of such tragedy is not only defined by what a man has accomplished in life but on what he thinks he should have accomplished more in his life.
Upon reflecting on his life, man will be able to see immense dedication and effort and even the results it failed to generate.
Miller, Arthur. “Tragedy and the Common ” The New York Times (27 February 1949)