A Comparison of Death Of A Salesman and Hamlet


Length: 616 words (1.8 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document



A Comparison of Death Of A Salesman and Hamlet

 

      Willy Loman and Hamlet, two characters so alike, though different.  Both

are perfect examples of tragedy in literature, though for separate reasons and

by distinct methods.  The definition of a tragedy, in a nutshell, states that

for a character to be considered tragic, he/she must be of high moral estate,

fall to a level of catastrophe, induce sympathy and horror in the audience, and

usually die, and in doing so, re-establish order in the society.  Hamlet follows

this to a "T". Death of a Salesman does not fall within these set guidelines but

is still considered tragic for reasons, though different, somewhat parallel

those of Hamlet's.

 

      Hamlet, a rich young price of high moral estate suddenly has his joyous

life ripped away from him when his father, Hamlet Sr., suddenly passes away.

Though originally thought to be of natural causes, it is later revealed to him

through his father's ghost, that dear old dad was murdered by his Step-Father,

and also his Uncle, Claudius. Vowing revenge upon his Uncle/Dad, Hamlet begins

to mentally falter and eventually, is in such a wild rage that he accidentally

kills Polonious believing him to be his father. Hilarity ensues.

 

      Ophelia, Hamlet's love interest, commits suicide/dies (that's up for

debate elsewhere) after going slightly mad from the impact of her father's death,

then Laertes, Polonius' son, arrives on the scene enraged and ready to kill

Hamlet for what he's done, and  just when you thought things couldn't get any

worse, unbeknownst to Hamlet, Claudius has been plotting to kill him.  Talk

about your bad days.

 

      A duel takes place between Hamlet and Laertes where Laertes, using a

poison-tipped sword, cuts Hamlet, thus giving way for his impending death.

Hamlet eventually gets hold of the sword and kills Laertes, then kills King

Claudius.  Just as the play ends, Hamlet takes his last breath of air, appoints

Fortinbras Jr. as the new King of Denmark, and dies.

 

      In Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman, a salesman who believed himself to

be a powerful man, has his life unravel before him as he loses his job, his

sanity and the respect of those around him.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"A Comparison of Death Of A Salesman and Hamlet." 123HelpMe.com. 23 Aug 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=16539>.
Title Length Color Rating  
Comparison of Madness and Sanity in Hamlet and Death of a Salesman Essay - Comparison of Madness and Sanity in Hamlet and Death of a Salesman Could anyone really determine whether or not a person is mad or sane. In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman each of their two main characters, Hamlet and Wily Loman, are put up to this question, but in each situation their so-called madness differs in the cause of them. The ways in which their madness affects their lives is proven by three actions. These actions are neglecting their responsibilities, negatively influencing others, and finally distracting themselves....   [tags: essays papers] 1346 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Comparing Death Of A Salesman and Hamlet Essay - Death Of A Salesman Vs. Hamlet Willy Loman and Hamlet, two characters so alike, though different. Both are perfect examples of tragedy in literature, though for separate reasons and by distinct methods. The definition of a tragedy, in a nutshell, states that for a character to be considered tragic, he/she must be of high moral estate, fall to a level of catastrophe, induce sympathy and horror in the audience, and usually die, and in doing so, re-establish order in the society....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays] 613 words
(1.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The American Dream Conspiracy in Death of a Salesman Essays - Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman tells the story of the failure of a salesman, Willy Loman. Although not all Americans are salesmen, most of us share Willy’s dream of success. We are all partners in the American Dream and parties to the conspiracy of silence surrounding the fact that failures must outnumber successes.(Samantaray, 2014) Miller amalgamates the archetypal tragic hero with the mundane American citizen. The result is the anti-hero, Willy Loman. He is a simple salesman who constantly aspires to become 'great'....   [tags: Death of a Salesman]
:: 3 Works Cited
1739 words
(5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Shattered Dream in Death of a Salesman Essay - The Shattered Dream in Death of a Salesman          In America, anyone with some drive, some talent, and half a brain can be a success.  Or so Willy Loman believes.  Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman tells the story of a man who seems predestined for failure, though he tries his best to succeed. Willy Loman is a symbol for the common man who tries and tries and tries, but is somehow unable to attain the "American Dream" of status and success.              Miller combines the archetypal tragic hero with the common American citizen....   [tags: Death Salesman essays]
:: 5 Works Cited
1759 words
(5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Jagged Edges of a Shattered Dream in Death of a Salesman Essay - Exploring the Jagged Edges of a Shattered Dream in Death of a Salesman     Death of a Salesman tells the story of a man confronting failure in a success-driven society. Willy Loman represents all American men that have striven for success but, instead, have reaped failure in its most bitter form. Arthur Miller's tragic drama is a probing portrait of the typical American male psyche portraying an extreme craving for success and superior status. Death of Salesman follows the decline of a man into lunacy and the subsequent effect this has on those around him, particularly his family....   [tags: Death of a Salesman]
:: 3 Works Cited
1774 words
(5.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Comparing the Tragedies of Hamlet, Oedipus the King, and Death of a Salesman - Comparing the Tragedies of Hamlet, Oedipus the King, and Death of a Salesman The tragedies Hamlet, Oedipus the King, and Death of a Salesman have strikingly different plots and characters; however, each play shares common elements in its resolution. The events in the plays’ closings derive from a tragic flaw possessed by the protagonist in each play. The downfall of each protagonist is caused by his inability to effectively cope with his tragic flaw. The various similarities in the closing of each play include elements of the plot, the reflection of other characters on the misfortune of the tragic hero, and expression of important themes through the dialogue of the characters....   [tags: compare contrast compare/contrast] 1033 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Comparing Shakespeare' Julius Caesar, Ibsen's A Doll's House, and Miller's Death of a Salesman - Tragedy's Problem From Shakespeare' Julius Caesar to Henrik Ibsen's A Dolls House, problem plays have taken form in character, plot, and even setting.  It is not necessary for a problem play to be considered a problem play just because it was not written in the time period of when problem plays were formed.  Arthur Miller disproves this theory and successfully wrote a problem play in the modern time period; his play was Death of a Salesman.   The timely struggles that characters such as Willy Loman face, eventually lead to a major personal problem that, in this case, leads to death.  Problem plays deal directly with social and professional issues.  Death of a Salesman is a prime example o...   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays] 1138 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Oedipus Rex, Hamlet, & Willy Loman Comparison - “Still, the Truth Remains” An immense desire for personal satisfaction, and extraordinary reputation can often result in a sickly, perverse distortion of reality. In Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, a man well known for his intellect and wisdom, finds himself blind to the truth of his life, and his parentage. William Shakespeare’s Hamlet also contains a character that is in search of the truth, which ultimately leads to his own demise, as well as the demise of many around him. Arthur Miller’s play, The Death of a Salesman, tells of a tragic character so wrapped up in his delusional world, that reality and illusion fuse, causing an internal explosion that leads to his downfall....   [tags: Sophocles William Shakespeare Arthur Miller]
:: 3 Works Cited
1535 words
(4.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Death of a Salesman Essay - It is known that in literature, a tragedy is one of the most popular genres. It always combines some story which discusses human sufferings with a certain sense of audience fulfillment. The roots of the tragedy are related to ancient Greece. A Greek tragedy is a sad story, which represents a character with a tragic flaw leading to his downfall. In addition, in traditional tragedy, the main character falls from high authority and often it is predetermined by fate, while the audience experiences catharsis (Bloom 2)....   [tags: Death of a Salesman] 1644 words
(4.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Death Of A Salesman Annotated Bibliography - Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" reflects the numerous issues post-war United States was dealing with during the late 1940's when it was written. Death of a Salesman was written and published in 1949, when the United States was booming with new economic capabilities and new found power, resulting in a golden age regardless of the growing tensions of the threat of communist invasion. Racial violence and the escalating issues regarding the deluded American dream that was turning out to be quite different than that which our founding fathers had originally idealized....   [tags: Miller Death Salesman] 1490 words
(4.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]

Related Searches




  Many years before, Willy had an

affair.  This "dirtied" his appearance to his son Biff, though his wife never

found out.  Biff later went on to become a drifter of sorts, dabbling in one

low-paying profession after another until finally settling on a farm.

 

      After Willy was fired, for being too old, too inept or both, supposedly,

Willy pretends he's still working and doesn't let his wife in on the bad news.

Too stubborn to accept a job from his next-door neighbour, Willy is forced to

lie to his family.

 

      Through visions of his older brother Ben, coupled with the degradation

of his mind, Willy eventually commits suicide to ensure his son Biff's career

through the Life Insurance policy.  Willy dies an empty, shallow death.

 

      Hamlet and Willy are both considered tragic.  The Classical Tragedy's

definition was tweaked with to make it a more general encompassor.  A common

man's injured sense of dignity, coupled with forces beyond his control and/or

ability to comprehend, displace him from his perceived place, causing the

audience to recognize such and prepare itself for the inevitable finale in which

the hopelessness and defeat are more poignant than the actual death.

 

      Willy and Hamlet both fell from grace, both commited morally bankrupt

acts and evetually died, giving way to a re-establishment of order.  Tragic men,

for different reasons,  bound together through their demeanor and their deaths.

a

 


Return to 123HelpMe.com