King Lear And Willy Research Paper

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Lear and Willy’s tragedy and their personal tragedy flaws According to the Politics by Aristotle, “A man cannot become a hero until he can see the root of his own downfall.” (Aristotle, 1-49) Aristotle argued that usually tragic heroes would fall down based on their own free choices and free wills. Therefore, it is clear that both Lear and Willy are typical tragic heroes in the Western literature. People would like to ask what would cause their tragedy? There is no doubt that the lack of self-knowledge is the one of the most essential reasons, which leads Lear’s, and Willy’s suffering, and this reason can be divided into three aspects—they are very opinionated and complacency to their friends, they are also conceited and boastful to their sons…show more content…
In the beginning of King Lear, Lear depends on the love test to assign his properties and kingdom; Goneril and Regan flatter Lear in order to obtain the whole England. Nevertheless, Cordelia is misunderstood by her father because the words she chooses to say are so simple and honest instead of any luxurious words. It is obviously that Regan and Goneril do not truly love Lear due to the fact that they covet Lear’s position, status, and possessions. However, the conceit and pride within Lear leads Lear would rather believe in the empty rhetoric of Regan and Goneril than trust the generous love from Cordelia. Lear’s conceit causes his blindness; which ultimately leads Lear make wrong decisions and causes those decisions take away everything he used to own—his supreme power, immeasurable wealth and high status. When Lear finds that his conceit is worthless, his sanity collapses, then the madness comes. By the way, the same situation also happens in another story. In The Death of Salesman, Willy is only a moral salesman. Although people around Willy never approve him, he makes up lies about his outstanding achievement in his business in front of his two sons all the time, “I never have to wait in line to see a buyer. ‘Willy Loman is here!’ That’s all they have to know and I go right through.” (Miller, 1948, 26) Obviously, Willy just lies to his…show more content…
More importantly, the primary issue is their incorrect sense of value. Lear does not understand the true meaning and significance of the natural law; he believes that the love from parents should be conditional, parents do not love their children unless their children love, honor and flatter their parents first. In Lear’s point view, he breaks the relations with Cordelia because Cordelia seems not loving him. Whereas, the morality and ethics mention people that the love between parents and children are unconditional, selfless and dedicated, and for this reason, parents ought to love their children rather than abandoning them. Lear never notices this common sense, and his ignorance leads to his failure. Similarly, Willy devotes his life to pursuit his unrealizable American Dream. His American dream is only a mirage; he thinks that as long as he is popular and well known among his customers and his boss, he is able to make money. Actually, success is not measured by the richness of the people. Willy is obsessive in materialism. In addition, the American dream is unachievable due to the fact that this dream is totally unrealistic and illusive, the similar theme—unreality of the American dream also can be found in the Great Gatsby, no matter how Gatsby struggles unscrupulously, he cannot avoid his tragic downfall. Hence, in America, the upper class is the

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