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A view from the bridge - In this essay I am going to explore if the protagonist, Eddie Carbone, is guilty for his downfall; which then leads to his death.

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A View From The Bridge A View from the Bridge was written by Arthur Miller in 1955. The play is a modern tragedy with some elements of an Aristotelian tragedy. The play is set in the 1950s in the "gullet of New York" which is Red Hook. In this essay I am going to explore if the protagonist, Eddie Carbone, is guilty for his downfall; which then leads to his death. A tragic hero has a fatal flaw which leads to his downfall, in Eddie's case, he is attracted to his niece. This causes him to be overprotective and not let her meet anyone else, as he wants her for himself. The tragic hero's downfall is brought about by ignoring advice; In Eddie's case, he doesn't listen to Alfieri, the lawyer and chorus of the play, when he tells him to let Catherine go. My first impression of Eddie is a tall, big and quite overweight man, with little hair and a slowly dying face. He is an outgoing and hardworking man who provides for his family. I got some of these impressions because the chorus, Alfieri, describes him as, "He is forty - a husky slightly overweight longshoreman". The first person he talks to in the play is his niece, Catherine. At first he is caring when he comments on her new dress. ...read more.


At the beginning of Act Two, Eddie finally has a reason to let out his anger and frustration on Rodolfo. When he comes home drunk, he sees Catherine and Rodolfo coming out of the bedroom. He assumes the obvious and then tells Rodolpho to pack his bags and leave. As he does, Catherine goes with Rodolfo, but Eddie stops her and brings her closer to him. Eddie asks her where she is going and she says, "I think I have to get out of here". Eddie obviously says no, but after much debate Eddie grabs her and kisses her on the lips. This answers the question if Eddie was attracted to her all along. But he isn't doing this at free will, as he is drunk. He is also showing Rodolfo that Catherine belongs to him in a strange way. But when Rodolfo tries to stop Eddie by tugging his arms, Eddie threatens, "You want something?" Eddie then tries to anger Rodolfo by mocking him, he asks him "But what're you gonna be?" Rodolfo replies "I'll show you what I want to be!" Eddie angers him more, "Come on, show me! What're you gonna be? Show me!" With this, Rodolfo lunges at Eddie, but he pins him to the floor and kisses him as well. He does this to make fun of him and humiliate him; he also might do this just to see if his theory of Rodolfo being gay is true. ...read more.


This is also symbolic, as Eddie stabs himself as he is holding the knife, which implies that no one is to blame for his death but himself. After he is stabbed, Eddie, "Falls to his knees before Marco", then dies in Beatrice's arms. I believe that the audience do feel a bit of sympathy towards him because he was once a normal workingman who provided for his wife and niece. He didn't have a story to his life until the cousins came along. If this could've been avoided, then the way he felt towards Catherine wouldn't of got out. But he was up for competition and was defending his honour just because they came along. I think Eddie and every one else around who got involved are guilty for his downfall. This is because a little change in course by anyone could've changed the end, such as if Alfieri would have given him better advice, or if Beatrice was a more loving a caring wife, or if Catherine didn't "walk around in her slip" in front of him. But then again if Eddie's jealousy and over- protectiveness did not get a hold of him, then he might just be alive. At the end of the play, Alfieri speaks as the chorus and says "And yet it is better to settle for half." I don't exactly agree with him, because sometimes the truth can hurt someone, or in this case kill someone. So it is usually better to settle for all of it when it means the difference between life and death. ...read more.

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