Willy Loman was just a product of his time period. Can he be blamed for that? Perhaps not. However, it is every persons duty to take responsibility for their actions and their conscious decisions. Because Mr. Loman's decisions were just that: conscious ones. Presented as a little bit crazy and out of his head, it is easy to say that he didn't know better. Essentially, excuses can be made for him and it is possible that a position for him as a "tragic hero" can be argued. Yet this should not be so. For every action, there exists an equal and opposite reaction. Willy Loman never accepted responsibility for his actions, never accepted the resulting consequences, even though he alone made the bad decisions that created them. It is in this that Willy Loman can never be any type of hero, even a tragic one, to the readers of Death of a Salesman.
As a person though, Willy Loman deserved a certain basic respect. Linda, his wife, demonstrates this when she states in Act One: "I don't say he's a great man. Willy Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He's not the finest character that ever lived. But he's a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He's not to be allowed to fall into his grave like an old dog..." Even the smallest man deserves basic respect, and, though he was no hero, Willy Loman is no different in this regard.