Compare and Contrast Essay on Death of a Salesman and Tragedy of Hamlet

Published: 2023-03-14
Compare and Contrast Essay on Death of a Salesman and Tragedy of Hamlet
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  English literature Hamlet
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 894 words
8 min read

It is usually said that at least one in four people has heard about the Death of a Salesman and that the play is performed at least every night somewhere in the world. In this play, Arthur Miller narrates about a man who is lost in his struggles, and an apparent inability to accept change within himself and the society (Miller). Similarly, the Tragedy of Hamlet written famous playwright, William Shakespeare remains one of the longest yet celebrated plays of all time. Initially performed in the late 16th century, the play reveals the life of the prince of Denmark whose desire and promise to avenge the death of his late father puts him in philosophical problems he cannot solve (Shakespeare). Until now, the two stories remain connected in the minds and hearts of their readers everywhere, due to the authors' mastery in developing dramatic plots that involve everyday struggles and moral issues. The two authors employ different characters to portray a self-perpetuating cycle of denial, lies, and confrontations that occur in most families, making the plays two of the most emotionally touching and intellectually dramas for ages. Although the two plays are inherently similar in terms of themes, they also portray some differences as is made clear through the use of imagery, the pace, and the point of view.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Both the Death of a Salesman and the Tragedy of Hamlet are quite similar in the use of imagery, which is strong and in great detail. For instance, throughout the three acts of the Death of a Salesman, one can easily identify the author's use of imagery to help readers understand the main themes of the play. Miller uses both visual and descriptive images, which occurs frequently over the two acts to depict his characters' feelings, attitudes, personalities, and social status. For example, in his play, Miller carefully employs several images to describe personalities and the routine of his main character, Willy Logan (Miller). Mr. Logan spends most of the time in his car as his job heavily relies on it. The author makes clear Logan's dependence on the automobile through a statement by his wife who claims that "he drives seven hundred miles" (Miller 41) In essence, this statement is quite revealing since someone who drives seven hundred miles every day must really need the car and the job. It also shows the great pain Logan experiences driving on a daily basis since he has become an old man. On the other hand, Shakespeare's applies the use of imagery to reflect and reinforce the many controversial themes within his pieces without leaving his readers too inquisitive. For example, the play Hamlet evinces different but closely related themes to which Shakespeare resorts to imagery to give a clear picture to his audiences as to the deepest sentiments of the characters and predicaments.

Despite the similarities in the use of imagery, the two books are quite different when it comes to the speed at which the stories are told. For instance, Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman is relatively fast, especially, in terms of the narrative and the character presentation. The story takes a non-linear approach aided by flashbacks as future and present stories are all mixed together. The author presents more than two storylines at the same time, and the readers are left in suspense as they maneuver through the scenes (Miller). Additionally, the persona of each main character introduced at a much faster pace as they discuss the present, future, as well as the past with each other. Shakespeare's Tragedy of Hamlet, on the other hand, moves at a much slower pace as the storyline is presented one even at a time from Act I through to Act V (Shakespeare). The audience is introduced to the major characters systematically throughout the acts, with Act I mainly concentrating on Hamlet, the main protagonist of the play, and his family.

The Death of a Salesman and the Tragedy of Hamlet have distinct points of view. Author Miller's play, for instance, uses the traditional narrative where both the internal and external points of view are employed. Overall, the author presents the story in such a way that the audience can see everything. On many occasions, the author presents the story from the view of the audience, however, this sometimes changes in those moments in which past occurrences are allowed to disrupt current events in terms of flashbacks (Miller). When this happens, the audience usually views the narrative from an internal point of view of the main character, Willy Loman. Nevertheless, in the Tragedy of Hamlet, the author narrates the story from an objective third-person point of view. The third party tells the stories of the main characters, beginning with that of the prince of Denmark, as he wrestles with his father's passing, as well as his uncle's disloyalty (Shakespeare).

Although the two plays present two great storylines to their audiences, they are relatively different in terms of pace, the use of imagery, and the point of view. Death of a Salesman can interest is with its fast pace and varied points of view. The Tragedy of Hamlet, on the other hand, takes a linear approach and uses a third-party point of view. Both stories are similar in the use of imagery.

Works Cited

Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. Penguin Books, 1998.

Shakespeare, William. The tragedy of Hamlet. Ginn, 1909.

Cite this page

Compare and Contrast Essay on Death of a Salesman and Tragedy of Hamlet. (2023, Mar 14). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism