John Proctor and Willy Loman: The Tragedies of Two Common Men.
Are John Proctor and Willy Loman common men? Are they tragic heroes? Using.
information from Arthur Miller's essay, "Tragedy and the Common Man", both men can.
be defined as common, and both men can be defined as tragic heroes. Miller's essay also.
characterizes the plays "The Crucible" and "Death of a Salesman" as tragedies in modern.
According to Miller, the quality that shapes the image of the common man is one.
that "derives from the underlying fear of being displaced, the disaster inherent in being.
torn away from our chosen image of what and who we are in this world" (Miller, Tragedy.
of the Common Man). Both John Proctor and Willy Loman share this fear, and both.
regard their reputations in society very highly. Proctor's fear of being displaced is evident.
in the last act when he refuses to sign the confession stating that he practiced witchcraft. .
Procter declares, "I have given you my soul; leave me my name!"(Miller, The Crucible,.
Act IV). This quote implies that Procter values maintaining his chosen image as a good.
and holy man over his soul, which in his religious society is also regarded very highly. .
Willy Loman lives in a fantasy world where he believes that he is extremely successful and.
loved by all. At one point Willy states "I"m the New England man. I am vital in New.
England."(Miller, Death of a Salesman, Act 1). Later in the play Willy refuses a job.
offered to him by Charley, because he fears that accepting the job will tear him away from.
his chosen image if being the best, thus categorizing him as a common man by Millers.
standards. Because John Proctor and Willy Loman regard their reputations and dignity so.
highly and fear the possibility of these qualities being degraded, they are considered.
Miller describes that the tragic element in a tragic hero is "evoked in us when we.
are in the presence of a character who is ready to lay down his life, if need be, to secure.