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

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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.

"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.)

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