Willy Loman, from the play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, exhibited the traits of a tragic hero. His disastrous qualities came prior to his foreshadowed death when he realized his existence had not panned out the way he had hoped. Mr. Loman aroused sympathy from the readers as he dedicated his life to a single cause, all while having a weakness of pride that led to his catastrophic passing. Willy was destined to pass away from the very start of the story, just like a tragic hero characteristically does. The title of the work shows the fate of Willy Loman. “Death of a Salesman” (DiYanni 1777). The name of the play foreshadows the destiny of the main character. The reader knows that Willy will perish because the very first words of
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He never says it directly, but at some point- probably after Howard fires him- he must realize that he’s just never going to succeed in business” (Willy). At the end of his life, Willy comes to grips with the fact that in his time on Earth he has not accomplished his hope of successful business ventures. The reader knows this because Charley offers him a job and he does not take it. He instead sticks to his work of long traveling hours and no commission as he begins to comprehend the notion that he will never become the man he used to dream of becoming one day. Desolately, the once great salesman of his own mind crashes into the reality that he always feared.
Sympathizing with one of the characters often classifies them as a tragic hero. Most people can identify with Willy about his weight and he certainly sees it himself. “I’m fat. I’m very—foolish to look at Linda. I didn’t tell you, but Christmas time I happened to be calling on F.H. Stewarts, and a salesman I know, as I was going to see a buyer I heard him say something about—walrus…But they do laugh at me. I know that” (DiYanni 1792). The reader can blatantly tell that Mr. Loman consciously cares about his weight because of the words he uses to describe himself. The feeling of empathy arouses inside the reader since they feel bad for Willy speaking so negatively of himself, and no one with a heart wishes for a person who dislikes their identity to die feeling such a way. The