Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Discuss Arthur Miller as theorist of tragedy.

Expert Answers info

accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write13,728 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

An excellent essay that is extremely pertinent to this question is Arthur Miller's "Tragedy and the Common Man," in which Miller discusses the traditional classical understanding of tragedy as applying only to royal, high-born characters and argues that tragedy is a genre that is just as applicable to "normal" characters, or the "common man." The classical tragedy does indeed only pick noble-born subjects to demonstrate the catharsis that is such an essential element of tragedy. Miller argues that this is incorrect for two reasons: firstly, modern psychiatry has shown that the complexes that famous tragic heroes such as Oedipus suffered from affect everybody, and secondly, the way that all humans, whether noble-born or not, appreciate and love tragedy, strongly indicates that tragedy is something that applies to all. Miller then goes on to underline what is at the heart of the genre of tragedy:

As a general rule, to which there may be exceptions unknown to me, I think the tragic feeling is...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 569 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Lorna Stowers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write4,625 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Ask a Question