Tragedy And The Common Man Essay Research

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Calamity And The Common Man Essay, Research Paper

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In Arthur Miller? s 1949 essay, & # 8220 ; Tragedy and the Common Man, & # 8221 ; Miller began by stating, & # 8220 ; In this age few calamities are written. & # 8221 ; This peculiar essay was published in the New York Times, was besides the foreword that was prepared for & # 8220 ; Death of a Salesman & # 8221 ; in 1949. Before Miller? s & # 8220 ; Death of a Salesman, & # 8221 ; there was merely one type of calamity? that which fit Aristotle? s definition. For Aristotle, dramas of calamity had to go around around male monarchs, Gods, or people of high category. In these authoritative calamities, the enunciation must be elevated and adjustment of the characters.Arthur Miller challenged merely about every belief and convention that had antecedently been accepted about tragic dramas, as in Shakespeare? s & # 8220 ; Hamlet & # 8221 ; ? which could be considered the idol of calamities. In claiming, & # 8220 ; The tragic manner is antediluvian, & # 8221 ; Miller explains & # 8220 ; that the common adult male is as apt a topic for calamity in its highest sense as male monarchs were. & # 8221 ; This really impression that regular people are merely as tantrum to be chief characters in a calamity as royalty was besides applied to the audience? s apprehension of a tragic drama. If the drama was supposed to be about upper-class people, and was spoken in a slang that was merely known to the high-bred, how were the common people who saw these dramas supposed to grok their significance? The lone manner for this job to be solved, harmonizing to Miller, was to show a character to whom the audience will readily associate. Miller did this by showing Willy Loman, the chief character of & # 8220 ; Death of a Salesman, & # 8221 ; who was a common workman with a married woman and two kids.The ground that there is such an absence of calamities in this twenty-four hours and age, is that & # 8220 ; the bend which modern literature has taken toward the strictly psychiatric position of life, or the strictly sociological, & # 8221 ; has been one that creates incredulity. With so much thought involved, and analysing, no 1 can truly bask a drama for what it is? pure amusement. By invariably seeking to calculate out a ground for why something happened, the audience can no longer accept tragic action, allow entirely epic action. This, along with the social belief that in order for a supporter to be recognized as a character he must be immaculate, has made tragedy about impossible. Every individual has his/her mistakes, even the great Hamlet had his ruin ; his ambivalency and indecisiveness brought him down. Merely as Willy Loman? s deficiency of self-esteem and feelings of insufficiency are what destroyed him.Miller? s ideal tragic hero is one who & # 8220 ; is captive upon claiming his whole due as a pe

rsonality,” and when approached with a struggle, “demonstrates the indestructible will of man to achieve his humanity.” A tragic hero who is willing to take on challenges and who will fight a battle which “he could not possibly have won,” is what makes the audience accept him as a hero who by his own virtue is worthy of their attention and perhaps even respect. Hamlet, for example, stood up for his father?s memory, by fighting his uncle, King Claudius. Miller?s common man, Willy fought the battle of life, by trying to make the best of what he was given in life and continues to support his family?even at the age of sixty.Without creating a bridge for the gap between the two parties involved (in this case, the audience and the play?s characters), there is no play. With a character that is equal to, or very near the average audience, the audience will pay more attention. In one sense, Arthur Miller is correct in saying that there are no tragedies out there. That is, only if one defines tragedy by Aristotle?s description. As of today, there have been many movies, television shows, as well as plays and novels that portray a tragic hero?but not necessarily in the Aristotelian sense. Take for example, “Good Will Hunting,” a movie about an almost regular guy who defies the pre-set mold of what a poor person with no formal education should become. Even though this guy was poor and did not come from an aristocratic family, the audience watched. Many who saw the movie, recommended it to their friends and even paid to see it again! Why? It was interesting and held their attention; following Will Hunting as he dealt with his problems was an escape from their own, or perhaps a look back at their own.What was once thought of as tragedy is now only thought of as a type of tragedy. No longer does a person see tragedy as the horrible, pessimistic story. According to Arthur Miller, “tragedy implies more optimism . . . the possibility of victory must be there,” especially since “a character has fought a battle he could not possibly have won.” Miller is quite true in saying that “it is time . . . that we who are without kings, took up this bright thread of our history and followed it to the only place it can possibly lead in our time ? the heart and spirit of the average man.” After looking for so long at those who are of higher class and of a supposed higher-breed or importance, the only natural thing to do is to look at the common man. By looking at the ordinary person, it is as if one is looking at himself, but with a more objective position.

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