Arthur Miller’s discourse on universal guilt and tragedy manifests in numerous aspects of his autobiographical play After the Fall. This article incorporates a moral paradigm according to Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl: reality is tragic due to pain, guilt, and death. A majority of Miller’s cast reflects the human struggle in rejecting this paradigm through illusions. Quentin, however, suffers reality’s tragedy and perseveres alongside Holga to become a tragic optimist; he lives on with empathy despite tragedy. Quentin, however, realizes the limits of his empathy in taking care of Maggie. Becoming a tragic optimist and persevering is the only way to survive a protagonist position in a Miller play; however, not everyone is capable or willing to do so.

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