Willie Loman and Oedipus

Analysis of the main characters in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman and Sophocles’s “Oedipus Rex”.

This paper analyzes Oedipus and Loman as two tragic characters and attempts to establish which tragic hero fits best the profile as defined by Aristotle. This is done by comparing the background of Oedipus and Willie Loman, their personalities, their stories, and, in the end, by comparing their tragedy.
“Oedipus Rex is a classic tragic hero. As defined by Aristotle, Oedipus is a classic tragic hero because he is a king whose life falls apart when he finds out his life story. According to Aristotle, there are certain elements, which a tragic hero must fulfill. These elements include the fact that whatever happens in that hero’s life is not really well deserved; that the tragic hero himself is somehow the cause of his downfall and that the extent of the tragedy is always worse than the hero deserves. As per Aristotle’s definition all tragic heroes usually have the stories revolving around them. For instance, in Sophocles Oedipus Rex and in Miller’s Death of a Salesman, the story does revolve around Oedipus and Loman. They are the primary characters and the entire story basically revolves around them.”