In "Tragedy and the Common Man" by Arthur Miller, the main argument is that tragedy started as a story type for the upper class, has died off, and that it is time for the common man to write and relate to tragedy. Miller builds his argument by defining what tragedy is to him. He says that the tragic feeling is evoked when the reader experiences a character that will die to preserve their dignity, or as he says, their "rightful position" in society. He continues saying that every tragic character has a "tragic flaw" that is a result of the character not accepting something to be the way it is. This feeds into his points about how people need to question the status quo to be able to write good tragedies. He says the tragic feeling can come from the character's need to take on the world, a task that certainly questions the status quo. Miller also suggests that the lack of tragedy might be a result of the changing views of life, such as people viewing everything as happening within the confines of their head. Without looking past the psychological or sociological, people cannot experience something outside themselves. Miller then mentions that tragedy does not have to be pessimistic. He goes so far as to suggest that tragedy is more optimistic than comedy. He finishes with hope in the future of the common man to write tragedies.
Miller's argument did not fundamentally change my views on tragedy, but it did offer some new helpful information. For example, when Miller said that it suggests more optimism than comedy, it made me think more about the purpose of tragedy, which I would now say is to highlight something unique to the human experience: our emotions. Miller talks endlessly about how tragedy can only arise in certain conditions, which all require a certain feeling. There is even a tragic feeling. Without emotion, tragedy would not be tragic. A robot civilization (or perhaps Vulcans) reading human literature would probably be lost in tragedies as they result from people being emotional. Miller also challenged my ideas about tragedy being pessimistic. I took that part of the argument to mean that the author of tragic stories usually doesn't have a pessimistic view of humanity, otherwise they'd write something that would make everyone lose their faith in humanity instead of highlighting a part of the experience. If you'd like to read Miller's argument, you can read it here.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.