The concept of the inescapable influence of the past is very classical, i.e., Oedipus. Oedipus discovers the full truth about killing his father and marrying his mother after a series of hints, and the past does determine the future. Likewise, in All My Sons the father-son conflict in which the son realizes that his father is a mere mortal and kills him (directly or indirectly), is one of the most classic tropes in drama (Miller, 1947).”
1. Are both plays tragedies? Why or Why not? Give examples from the two plays.
2. Give four examples of “recognition and reversal” (two from each play). Explain why these scenes are pivotal in changing the plot and story of both plays.
3. The notion of retribution in the form of “son paying for the mistake of their fathers” is present in both plays. Yet in each play this theme works differently. Explain how retribution functions for the sons in both plays.
4. If we agree that Oedipus is the tragic hero in Oedipus, who is the tragic hero in All My Sons? Pay special attention to the attributes of the tragic hero and give a well-reasoned explanation.
5. What is the significance of the setting in both plays? Where are they set? Why are the authors’ choices of setting important to the two plays’ message?