Loman And Oedipus The King: A Literary Analysis

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Throughout literature readers and has been given a stereotypical character with certain flaws, but a character that is usually rooted for, this being the hero archetype that has been altered and changed in different ways fitting for each story. In the two pieces Death of a Salesman , and Oedipus The King both from different eras and parts of the world yet each had a commonality to the story’s main hero, connected with similar flaws and end results. Death and pain is a common idea among each piece being each hero goes through their own trials and will inevitably find comfort through pain or ultimately death. In addition to pain, while each of these heros venture through their story something is hindering the ability to see the truth in each …show more content…
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller is the tragic story of a man who can not deal with his life any more because in his own idealistic world he never embodied the idea, but does not accept this fact, rather flashes back into his own skewed memories. Due to the distorted thoughts and memories of Willy’s, once he is being confronted with the painful truth he starts to deal with that pain by getting into accidents that “weren’t-accidents” (Miller p.42), attempting to rid himself of the pain of being a failure. Willy Loman is unable to attain control over his life much like how Oedipus is not able to control his life so he also goes to drastic measures to capture the sense of control once more. Oedipus’ fate could have been avoided if his mother did not try to avoid the prophecy which lead to Oedipus’ inevitable pain and suffering. Much like Willy, Oedipus refused to see the truth about his situation out of fear of the pain it could create for each of them, except Oedipus had more of a painful burden to bear than Willy, when Oedipus finds his mother, wife, hung by her own hand out of a “fury of passion”(Sophocles 72) leaving Oedipus to deal with her blood on his hands along with the sin of “monstrous children”(Sophocles 72). Oedipus realizes that he is unworthy to see with his eyes that “that failed to recognize”(Sophocles 73) the …show more content…
Willy Loman is truly blind to the fact he is not very good as a salesman while also failing to succeed in being the man he believes to be quintessential, causing his own slow decent into the dark abyss of suicidal thoughts and the actual act. Biff is the most important character that helps Willy realize how astray Willy is when Biff proclaims, “No, you’re going to hear the truth- what you are and what I am!”(Miller 104). Biff’s accusations sheds light on Willy’s issues that need to be faced creating an shocking realization for Willy, causing him to do what is best for Linda and also for himself by killing himself so Linda can finally be liberated of the man that is her world. Willy’s actions were very unselfish and are only done for the betterment for Linda, unlike Oedipus who acts a little selfishly when freeing himself of a burden. Oedipus’ burden of watching his children grow to be treated as monstrous and undesirables while also avoiding the responsibility of taking care of them to teach them lessons and how to be better than himself, this is unheroic and selfish of Oedipus. By putting the burden of his children onto Creon and “speaking of banishing himself”(Sophocles 73) to Cithaeron where he was doomed to die as an infant. By trying to control small aspects of his life once again Oedipus condemns himself for the good of himself putting the

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