Aristotle based his famous works on tragedy on the analysis of what he considered to be the perfect, paradigm of tragedy- Sophocle's carefully Crafted Oedipus the King. The myth of Oedipus has been studied, analysed, spread worldwide and widely used by writers, even philosophers such as Freud, to illustrate the concept of incest, a reality at the very heart of Sophocles' tragedy. The conflictual nature of the revelation of this incest inexorably suggests that the dynamics of family conflicts are extensively present in Oedipus the King. Yet is this example sufficient to affirm that the root of all chaos stems from the family? Arthur Miller's tragedy, Death of A Salesman, although written centuries after Sophocles' tragedy, focuses on the progressive demise of Willy Loman, a demise both psychological and physical, a tragic evolution brought about clearly by the dynamics of conflictual family relationships.
[...] At the verge of Oedipus' full enticement of the truth, Jocasta runs from the stage and symbolically from a truth which is too painful for her to confront, screaming “Aieeeeee- Oedipus, man of Agony that is the only name I have for you.” Oedipus our already flawed King through his excessive hubris is inexorably attributed the terrible hamartia the myth endows him with in the anagnorisis, his point of recognition, which Sophocles skilfully combines to his reversal of fortune or peripeteia. [...]
[...] Where more than here can we affirm that root of all chaos stems from the family”? Self mutilated, condemned to a life of misery, self contempt and banishment which was for the Athenians tantamount to death, Oedipus tragically declares am Oedipus”, now a man moved from excessive hubris to humility and meekness. Not so quite tragically as in Sophocles' tragedy, the dynamics of family conflict nevertheless profoundly determine Willy Loman's drive to his psychological demise in Miller's Death of A salesman. [...]
[...] Such a radical decision stems from a struggle Willy never resolved with Biff, and which originated from Biff's discovery of Willy's adultery in his hotel room in Boston. Bernard emotionally reveals always thought it was strange that I knew he'd given up his symbolised by the burning of his sneakers promising his entry to college in Willy's yet again distorted sense of values, not quite in touch with reality as a result of his painful discovery. Ever since, Willy ravaged by guilt and his failure, believed that Biff was “spiting” him. [...]
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