Death of a Salesman Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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Critically examine Death of a Salesman as a realist tragedy.

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Willy Loman, the main protagonist in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, is the embodiment of a tragic figure, his entire existence boiled down to his travails as father, husband, and salesman. He is struggling against forces both internal and external. He is an aging traveling salesman fighting to maintain his relevance in a business world that casts aside the old with the inevitability of a coming season, and his two grown sons have demonstrated little in the way of competency or commitment. His long-suffering wife, Linda, endures the emotional hardships that life with Willy entails, while defending his honor and legacy to his most vocal critics—his sons, one of whom caught Willy in the act of cheating on Linda while traveling for business.

Miller’s play is realist in that it portrays the real-life struggles of its characters. It is a tragedy in that, for Willy, there is no consolation. He dies at the end of the play and is mourned by a wife and a friend, both of whom understand that...

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