According to Aristotle\’s definition of a tragic hero (explain in 300 words or less) how Willy Loman does or does not fulfill the characteristics of a tragic hero.


According to Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), in The Poetics, the ideal tragic hero:

1. Must pass from happiness to misery (not the reverse);

2. Must not be perfectly virtuous and just;

3. Must belong to a distinguished family (be of \”noble\” birth), so that the \”fall\” will be all the greater;

4. Must experience a \”downfall\” which is the result of flaw of character(tragic flaw) and error of judgment. This tragic flaw is typically the element that creates the conditions for tragedy. One type of flaw is hubris -narrowness of vision or overwhelming pride.The \”downfall\” must not result from vice or baseness.

At some point in the tragedy – usually after the climax- the protagonist (tragic hero) recognizes the reasons for his/her downfall. This moment is the recognition scene. It is this recognition (and the accompanying acceptance) that elevates the protagonist to grandeur and gives their suffering meaning. (Suffering that exists simply to satisfy the sentimental or morbid sensibilities of the audience is called pathos)

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