Classical And Modern Tragedy Analysis

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With the incredible differences between classical and modern tragedies, few students stop to consider the similarities between the two. While both are structurally and often characteristically different, the share common aspects such as the Tragic Hero. This is true for most works, such as Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, and Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Sophocles optimizes the traditional Greek tragic style, with each of the key elements is their correct place and format. In contrast, Arthur Miller’s modern tragedy mixes and changes the order and formulaic structure of the tragedy; all the traditional elements are there just recreated in a new and previously unthought of way. While the traditional structure such as used in Oedipus Rex is altered…show more content…
They are both tragic heroes, the protagonists of their own stories, and have all the key characteristics of such. Both have their hamartia, and both go through the dramatic and tragic steps of the classical tragedy. At the beginning, both experience a peripeteia. Willy’s is his denial of a job with Charley, while Oedipus’s is his decision to go on the quest for truth. They both discover the mistake, the anagnorisis, later in the restaurant scene where he is told of Biff’s lie and when Oedipus is made aware of his family history. Following that is the catastrophe, the funeral and stabbing out of the eyes, then the catharsis for the audience. While the parts are not followed exactly in Death of a Salesman, all are there and all play important parts in the character development of the hero, as in Oedipus.The progression from “hero” to their downfall is what makes the work a tragedy, and what connects both…show more content…
Both characters are proud, and want to appear strong, although it manifests itself in different ways. For Oedipus, his pride leads to arrogance, while Willy’s leads to lies and false dreams. However, both their excessive amounts of pride lead them to pursue quests that ultimately lead to their downfall.The Greeks considered hubris the most fatal of flaws. as evident in the tragic end of Oedipus, which is reflected in Willy Loman. However, the most important similarity is how distant both characters are from reality. For Willy, his life is a web of illusions, memories and lies, preventing him from being rooted in the present. On the other hand, Oedipus’s whole life turns out to be a lie with the discovery of his real parentage. Both are detached from and have a false relationship with the real world and, as a result, commit an act of self harm. Despite the numerous differences between the characters, their stories and characters exhibit numerous

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