Essay on Death of a Salesman & Oedipus the King

1781 Words Feb 6th, 2002 8 Pages
An overwhelming desire for personal contentment and unprecedented reputation can often result in a sickly twisted distortion of reality. In Sophocles' Oedipus the King, a man well-known for his intellect and wisdom finds himself blind to the truth of h life and his parentage. Arthur Miller's play, The Death of a Salesman, tells of a tragic character so wrapped up in his delusional world that reality and illusion fuse causing an internal explosion that leads to his undoing. Each play enacts the strugg of a man attempting to come to grips with his harsh reality and leaving behind his comfortable fantasy world. In the end, no man can escape the truth no matter how hard he may fight. In choosing the fragility of illusion over the stability …show more content…
In a few moments, Tiresias pr ides Oedipus with everything he needs to know concerning his fate by saying, "the rotting canker in the state is you...you and your most dearly loved wrapped together in a hideous sin - blind to the horror of it" (37). Despite this obvious proclamation truth, Oedipus "being his own worst enemy" chooses to wallow in his pleasant fantasy, that he has escaped his inevitable fate (38). Oedipus' own foolish decisions ultimately lead to his downfall in this tragic play. Oedipus chooses to kill Laius. He ch ses to marry Jocasta. He chooses to forcefully and very publicly assume the mission of discovering the identity of Laius' killer saying ironically, "I shall not rest until I've tracked the hand that slew Laius...[because] such ties swear me to his side if he were my father" (32). He proceeds on this mission and chooses to ignore the warnings of Creon, Jocasta, Tiresias, the messenger, the shepherd, and anyone who attempts to stand between him and the truth; and he chooses to blind himself. In the en Oedipus' most foolish choice prevails throughout the play, the choice of illusion over reality, ultimately causing his demise. The play, Death of a Salesman tells the tragic story of Willy Loman, a little man sentenced to discover his smallness rather than a big man undone by his greatness. Willy, a sixty-three year old family man, the father

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