To what extent is All My Sons a classical Greek tragedy, and are there elements of modern tragedy in it?

Expert Answers info

Kale Emmerich eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2019

write1,148 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

All My Sons classifies as a classical Greek tragedy because it has all the necessary elements that define one. The essential definition of a classical Greek tragedy is when a hero who is basically good falls victim to a fatal flaw inherent in their nature—most often hubris, but occasionally a physical ailment or other flaw, and this causes their ultimate demise.

Joe Keller, the patriarch of the family, is full of hubris. While he is generally good—he is a good father and soldier—he falls victim to his refusal to be implicated in the crime of giving approval of defective cylinder heads. For three years, he places the blame on someone else—his business partner—claiming that he denied his involvement to protect his family. In the end, his crime is worse than it originally was because he sent an innocent man to jail.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Edith Sykes eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2007

write1,721 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

"All My Sons" falls into the category for Classical Greek Tragedy because the tragic hero, Joe Keller suffers from hubris, or the sin of too much pride, and because of...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 640 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

timbrady eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2007

write857 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial