An analysis of the character of willy loman in death of a salesman a play by arthur miller

The Greatest Plays of the 20th Century -- Part 1 Jul 07, The American Film Institute recently published a list of the greatest American films "of all time," though the film industry is scarcely more than a century old. The American Film Institute recently published a list of the greatest American films "of all time," though the film industry is scarcely more than a century old. Here is your chance to pick what you believe to be the greatest stage plays of the 20th century musicals included.

An analysis of the character of willy loman in death of a salesman a play by arthur miller

Click the character infographic to download. He has a lot of potential, but he also has a whopping case of self-deception paired with misguided life goals. A salesman for all of his career, Willy thinks the goal of life is to be well-liked and gain material success.

Willy is a rather insecure guy. He tries to make himself feel better by lying to himself and his family. In his world of delusion, Willy is a hugely successful salesman. He disguises his profound anxiety and self-doubt with extreme arrogance.

Periodically unable to maintain this image of strength, Willy despairs and pleads with successful people around him for guidance and support. Despite his efforts, it becomes clear that Willy Loman is not popular, well-liked, or even good at his job.

In fact, he never was. In all likelihood, he never will be.

An analysis of the character of willy loman in death of a salesman a play by arthur miller

Now an older man, Willy can no longer drive competently, pay his bills, or sell anything. He has deceived himself his entire life and tries to live vicariously through his unwilling son, Biff. Choosing to alienate his son rather than face reality, and tormented by his failures, Willy spirals downward.

Part of this "downward spiral" we keep talking about has to do with Willy losing a grip on reality and on time. Because his life, by his standards, sucks, Willy escapes into the past and also conveniently gives us, the reader or audience, the background information we need.

Miller makes sure we are able to understand these reasons for why Willy has the affair. Because we understand the psychology behind his affair. He is simply trying to escape. As we all know, Willy kills himself. Well, he was clearly still harboring misguided hopes about success for Biff.

It seems Willy would rather kill himself than accept the fact that really, honestly, all his son wants is some shirtless sweaty time in Midwestern haystacks.

The point is, Willy is still deluded when he kills himself. That final delusion is almost worse than his death itself. Willy was always in pursuit of being the perfect salesman, and before he kills himself he expresses a wish to die "the death of a salesman.

To answer that, we have to ask ourselves just what does it mean to be a salesman in this play? Part of being a salesman is about selling yourself. If you got to know him, it would probably seem even less likely. Still, Willy Loman is often thought of as a hero.

The ancient Greeks were the first to write about these doomed souls. But how is slouchy old Willy Loman in any way similar to the heroes of Greek tragedy? Well, dear Shmoopsters, they share a little thing the Greeks liked to call hamartia.

You could say that the idea of hamartia is seen in Willy through his delusional personality. Anagnorisis According to Aristotle, tragic heroes also have a moment of recognition, or anagnorisis. You could argue that Willy has a small realization near the end of the play.

However, though Willy must make some small realization toward the end of the play, we hesitate to label it as full blown anagnorisis. Willy definitely goes to his death amid a cloud of delusion.

An analysis of the character of willy loman in death of a salesman a play by arthur miller

Even after Biff totally lays it out for his dad that all he wants to do is be a cowboy or whatever, Willy refuses to understand. The pitiful salesman kills himself, thinking that Biff will use the life insurance money to start a business.

It becomes painfully obvious at the funeral that this is totally not going to happen, showing that Willy went to his death without coming to grips with reality.

Be Book-Smarter.

Yep, Willy is just a salesman. He has no real power in the world, and not too many people really care when he dies. Unlike the legendary and powerful Oedipus, Willy is a nobody.These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of the play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller.

Shattered Dream - The Delusion of Willy Loman Perceptions of Self Worth and Prominence: Spaces and Settings in Death of a Salesman. “Death of a salesman” character analysis The significant way the characters of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a salesman” relate to each other and influence each other’s lives.

Characters. See a complete list of the characters in Death of a Salesman and in-depth analyses of Willy Loman, Biff Loman, Happy Loman, and Linda Loman and Charley. Willy Loman.

Death of a Salesman Thesis Statements and Important Quotes

Despite his desperate searching through his past, Willy does not achieve the self-realization or self-knowledge typical of the tragic hero. See a complete list of the characters in Death of a Salesman and in-depth analyses of Willy Loman, Biff Loman, Happy Loman, and Linda .

Arthur Miller has emerged as one of the most successful and but it wasn’t until Death of a Salesman was performed in that Miller established himself as a major Willy Loman, the Salesman, enters, carrying two large .

Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman