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The Similarities of Tragic Fate

There would always be time in our lives that we cant fully take control of it. During
those time fate is what causes things to happen. Fate is a predetermined course of events that
are inescapable. People, in the past believed that fate plays a very important role in
controlling their lives. Fate can approach us in both good and bad form but, most of the time
only bad fate are noticed. Most of us would blame fate for all the fault while good fait is
claimed as our own effort. In Oedipus Tyrannus (2000) and Death of a Salesman (1949), fate
is being portray as an evil that crushes both Willy Loman and Oedipuss life down. Their fate
is out of control and they could provide a great example of how bad fate effects. There are
many similarities in their fate. The similarities of tragic fate in Oedipus Tyrannus and Death
of a Salesman are illustrated through the irony dialogues, images, and emotions.
First of all, the tragic fate is portraying through the irony dialogues of the plays. The
first similarities in both plays would be in the irony dialogue. The dialogues are written to be
perform as a play which, would mean that it is meant to be as realistic as possible. The irony
is place in places that are are easy to observe. For instance, the character of Willy Loman who
viewed himself as a successful man but, it is clear that his live is in a mess. This leads to him
giving advice to his sons when he, himself is not much of a success. The quote No, you
finish first. Never leave a job till youre finish is a great example of Willy teaching his
sons (Miller,1949, p.28). Willy teaches his son to finish the job he has started which, is an
irony to Willys life and how he worked for his whole life in just one company until he dies
but in the end he gets nothing in return from it and the quote also portrays how willys life is
not completely controlled by him. Since he has worked hard his entire life to achieve the goal
of being successful but, in the end cant obtain it. Oedipus in the other hand is having an
extraordinary life as king but, is also taken down by his own fate. This could be shown

through the quote Hell cause me no more trouble once hes gone. (Sophocles,2000, p.19).
This quote could provide a clear picture of how arrogant Oedipus is, as he converses to
Tiresias with an aggression. Oedipus decided not to believe in Tiresias and it leads him into
hubris. The two plays are clearly similar in the way that both character are unaware of how
bad things could turn out to be through the dialogues and due to there tragic fate.
Secondly, the tragic Fate in the two plays are shown through the symbols. There are
many important symbols in both play but, the one that seems to depict fate the most would
obviously be the crossroads. In Oedipus Tyrannus, the crossroad symbolizes fate. In the play
Oedipus killed his father when they met at the crossroad which, is a part of the fate that he ca
not control. The are three path on the crossroads but, fate eventually leads him to the place he
was born in. The quote Picking his way across lands unknown. Shows how Oedipus
went through the three path crossroads and selected the unknown way that eventually leads
him to Thebes (Sophocles,2000, p.19). As seen in the previous quote fate has a very strong
power that leads Oedipus to his disastrous down fall. Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman
also went through some important changes due to fate. One of the important changes in his
life was when he gave his wifes stockings to his mistress while, Biff was there. This tragic
fate could symbolize how the stockings show his guilty towards his wife but, it changes
Biffs life forever. The quote Youyou gave her Mamas stockings! (Miller,1949, p.121)
could clearly show how miserable Biff is. This guilty is following Biff and Willy through out
the whole play. When added up together the fates effect became devastating towards both the
characters. The two plays are clearly in common for depicting fate through symbols which,
further lead them into hubris.
Last but not the least, Emotion depicts the fate with in the plays. There are many
different kinds of emotion that are mentioned through out the play but, the main emotion
would be the feeling of regret. In Oedipus the main scene of regret came towards the end of

the book. The quote I am exposedborn to forbidden parents, joined in forbidden


marriage, I brought forbidden death. portrays how Oedipus realize that all the oracles that
was told about him became true which leads him to remorse for all the action he did not mean
to do (Sophocles,2000, p.51). The result of this emotion due to tragic fate later causes him to
blind himself which, is a clear support for his emotion of regret. This guilt will follow
Oedipus throughout his whole life and it is also the same for Willy. Willy in Death of a
Salesman is also showing the same emotion of regret. The quote I am not a leader of men,
Willy, and neither are you said by Biff shows how he feel about his dad (Miller,1949,
p.132). This feeling towards his dad is an emotion full of regret which, is caused by the tragic
fate. The two plays are clearly in common. They both utilizes emotion that depicts the fate
and leads both of the two main characters into hubris.
In conclusion, Death of a Salesman and Oedipus Tyrannus are distinctly showing
similarities in Tragic fate. First, the irony dialogues are shown in both plays to to give a sign
to the reader that it is leading the characters into hubris. Second, both plays uses symbols
such as the crossroads in Oedipus to depict the tragic fate. Lastly, the emotions are used in
both play could portray fate. After all, both plays are depicting fate in action with the use of
irony dialogues, symbols, and emotions. All of this are the ways that leads the characters into
hubris.

Citation Page

Miller, A. (1949). Death of a Salesman. New York: Penguin Plays.


Meineck, P., & Woodruff, P. (2000). Sophocles Oedipus Tyrannus. Hackett
Publishing.