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death of a salesman

Explain how Biff could be responsible for the tragedy of the play?


If it's a real tragedy, Biff can't be responsible unless he is the tragic hero. He's not.

"Death of a Salesman" is Arthur Miller's attempt to write a tragedy about an everyday guy. In classical tragedy, the tragic hero was always an individual of high position, a king or a prince lets's say, who falls precipitously from that high position because of his pride and a fault in his character... his tragic flaw.

InĀ "Death of a Salesman," Willy Loman is the main character, and, if you please, the tragic hero. He certainly has all the credentials, save one: he was no man of high position. It's hardly by chance that his name is what it is: Willy low man.

Now, that the persona of Biff, Willy's favorite son, is buried deep in Willy's psyche and intimately tied with his downfall, there is not doubt. But Willy's problems and his ruination and suicide are his of his own making.

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