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Does Arthur Miller Succeed In Making The Audience Sympathise With Eddie Carbone In 'A View From The Bridge'?

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Introduction

Does Arthur Miller Succeed In Making The Audience Sympathise With Eddie Carbone In 'A View From The Bridge'? Eddie Carbone is the protagonist in 'A View From The Bridge'. He is a character who is very hard to sympathise with. The central reason for this is he betrayed his family and broke the Sicilian code of honour. He did this by telling the authorities about Marco and Rodolfo. Another time when you start to feel unsympathetic towards him is when he comes home drunk and kisses Rodolfo and Catherine. Alfieri was created by Arthur Miller to set Eddie up as a tragic hero. He does this in 2 ways, the first way is by talking to the audience (an engaged narrator) 'This ones name was Eddie Carbone, a longshoreman working the docks from Brooklyn Bridge to the breakwater where the open sea begins' The other way he does this is by playing a main character, a lawyer. 'When the law is wrong it's because it is unnatural, but in this case it is natural and a river will drown if you buck it now' The audience forms there opinions through Alfieri. Although some of Eddie's actions are shocking and disturbing Alfieri's speeches are more powerful overall causing the audience to feel sympathy. In the relationship between Eddie and Catherine there are some elements which make u feel positively towards Eddie. ...read more.

Middle

Gradually his attitude starts to change and he begins to respect Marco but he starts to dislike Rodolfo more and more. This is shown by the way he directs everything he says at Marco 'He could be very good, Marco. I'll teach him again. The scene that describes the relationship best is the boxing scene at the end of act 1. In this scene Eddie shows Rodolfo how to box, during this time he says that Rodolfo is good but he doesn't seem to be sincere and is instead just making him look like a fool. At the end of this scene Marco challenges Eddie to try to pick up a chair by one of its legs. Eddie could not do this so Marco tried 'he kneels, grasps, and with strain slowly raises the chair higher and higher, getting to his feet now. Rodolfo and Catherine have stopped dancing as Marco raises the chair over his head.' This foreshadows the end of the play when Marco stabs Eddie in a show of strength 'Eddie lunges with the knife. Marco grabs his arm, turning the blade inward and pressing it home'. Before Marco and Rodolfo arrive Eddie tells Catherine about a boy called Vinny Bolzano who told the immigration office about his uncle, after this they dragged him down the stairs and spat on him in the street. ...read more.

Conclusion

A tragic hero is represented as an exceptional figure and no matter how bad his crimes the audience is left with a sense of pity for the character when he dies at the end. After Eddie dies at the end of the play Beatrice and Catherine still love Eddie this creates pity for Eddie which outweighs all of Eddie's errors of judgement. In his final speech Alfieri says 'I think I will love him more then all my sensible clients.' He says this because he brought some excitement back into his life from the days in which the mafia were still working on the streets. It is difficult to respect a character that would turn in a member of his family or forcefully kiss someone just to try to prove something. But, Alfieri helps us sympathise with him by showing us all of his thoughts which he couldn't tell anyone else. Alfieri isn't the only source of sympathy towards Eddie though. Another big reason you sympathise for Eddie is the fact that Beatrice and especially Catherine still loved him after everything he had done 'Eddie, I never meant to do nothing bad to you.' In the end I came to the conclusion that you can sympathise with Eddie as the fact that the people that were right in the centre of what happened could still love him, and if they can love him then we should be able to sympathise for him. Conor Charles 10/4 ...read more.

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