Similarities Of Oedipus Rex And Death of A Salesman
Without a doubt, the plays that were analyzed and deliberated this semester were informative, interesting, and crucial to the present condition and culture of mainstream playwriting. Of the many works that were looked at, Oedipus Rex and Death of a Salesman were two that lent themselves to further evaluation. Within this text, I will be discussing specific examples from both productions that draws comparison between the two.
Disconnected by several thousand years of literature, Oedipus Rex and Death of a Salesman seem to share a number of likenesses and characteristics that tie them both together, despite having been written at completely different times in history. At first look, one may ask how these stories could have anything in common; one is about a salesman with suicidal predispositions and the other a king who murdered his father and established a sexual relationship with his mother (book). However, after further consideration, there are underlying themes and foundations that show how each protagonist struggles with internal conflict which eventually leads to their untimely demise; each play shares a protagonist with a tragic flaw.
In the Greek tragedy, Oedipus Rex is the main character (book). He is important and of noble birth, and reigns as the King of Thebes. However, due to his kingly status, there are events that have occurred in his life that have affected his well-being as well as that of the people of Thebes. King Oedipus fate, unbeknownst to him, has already been determined by the Gods before he was born (book). In Arthur Millerr’s classic, Willy Loman is an older gentleman that struggles to accept his fate in a dead-end job and old age. Willy was let go from his job as a salesman and has started to spiral out of control, disappointed with the way his life is turning out (book). Willyr’s tragic situation, unlike Oedipus, does not at all impact the country, people, or even city where he lives. The individuals that are immediately affected by Willyr’s death are his immediate family members (book). Within the character similarities, there is one major difference. In a Greek tragedy, such as that of Oedipus Rex, the main character is almost always of noble or royal birth. Therefore, the country over while they rule is directly affected and at risk of peril due to the tragic situation of the protagonist. In the modern tragedy, such as Death of a Salesman, the main character is the average individual, with only few impacted by the death or tragedy of the protagonist.
Another similarity that can be drawn from each play, is the mental and physical state in which each main character begins and ends their respective plays. In the very opening scene of Oedipus Rex, we see a confused Oedipus at what he sees is happening to the City of Thebes (book). He does not understand why Thebes is in turmoil and this worries Oedipus. Although we as an audience know that Thebes is ultimately in distress due to his fate, Oedipus does not. At the end, we see a now-blind Oedipus overcome with anguish and embarrassment as he realizes now what he has done (book).
Comparable to Oedipus introduction, Willy Loman enters confused as well. Willy starts telling his wife, Linda, how all of a sudden he couldnt drive any more (book), and this was worrying him. As mentioned above, Willyr’s complications and strife do not directly affect a nation, but his immediate family instead. Closely to Oedipus, Willyr’s story also ends in shame; Willy kills himself so that his wife and sons will receive his insurance policy (book).
During the Red Scare of the 1940r’s – 1950r’s, hundreds of innocent Americans were accused of being either communists or communist sympathizers. Much like in The Crucible by Arthur Miller, […]
Persecution is considered to be an inhumane act of torturing and killing people. Persecution is most commonly committed on the basis of religion, sexual orientation, gender, race, and different belief […]
Whenever hysteria occurs, it appears to tolerate the misinterpretation of reality, unspeakable actions and baseless allegations causing societies to break. In the novel The Crucible, Arthur Miller the author of […]
Would you say that people can act irrationally, and often this behavior leads to questionable happenings? Many times in American history, egregious events have taken place. From the Salem Witch […]
A witch hunt is historically defined as a search for and subsequent persecution of a supposed witch. In The Crucible the witch hunt is persisted by the main character, Abagail, […]
Written by Arthur Miller in 1953, The Crucible is one of the most well-known plays in American history. The author depicts a series of dreadful and scary witch-hunts and trials […]
Death of a Salesman was written in 1949 by Arthur Miller. In this famous American story, Miller depicts many scenarios within the Loman family regarding happiness, while others do not […]
The character Willy Loman is a shipping clerk who sells his company’s products in different cities in the United States. However, author Arthur Miller did not disclose the specific products […]
Capitalism is an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. Arthur Miller alludes to […]
Without a doubt, the plays that were analyzed and deliberated this semester were informative, interesting, and crucial to the present condition and culture of mainstream playwriting. Of the many works […]