Oedipus The King And Death Of A Salesman Analysis

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In some stories, we are taken through a journey with protagonist and at the end of his or her story, the protagonist finds his or herself facing a disastrous situation or a tragic ending. Certain actions arise that bring a morally good tragic hero from happiness to distress which is led by a hamartia; an error in judgement many times due to lack of knowledge or full understanding of a situation. According to our textbook, the definition of a Tragedy is “the representation of serious and important actions that lead to a disastrous end for the protagonist” (Kennedy, 2013). An Ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, formulated that katharsis was the last element of his definition of a tragedy. According to our textbook, through katharsis the final …show more content…
To start off, one example of how the two stories are similar is that the protagonists from each story are both blinded by reality and knowledge. Willy Loman is delusional and is unable to accept the fact that he has failed to achieve the state at which he longed to be at. Oedipus lacked the knowledge of the prophecy and everything that he believed in was false. Another example of the similarities between the two stories is that both protagonists inflicted self harm upon themselves. Willy commits suicide in attempt do something right for his family and Oedipus gouges his eyes out as well as casts himself out of the city as punishment for his mistakes. One difference between the two stories is the interpretation of the classic tragic hero. The traditional tragic hero of a Greek tragedy is someone of noble birth who possesses special qualities. Oedipus is a prime example of this because born of nobility, ended up in the position of king, and saved Thebes from the Sphinx. In a modern tragedy, the tragic hero can be an average person. Willy is a great example of the modern tragedy hero because he was a average man who was a poor salesman, not well liked, and not popular. Although the two stories are from different time periods, they share key components of a tragedy are able to be translated into works of literature from any time

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