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"Eddie Carbone is the classic tragic protagonist whose downfall evokes the audience's sympathy". To what extend do you agree with this statement?

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A View From The Bridge by Arthur Miller Question: "Eddie Carbone is the classic tragic protagonist whose downfall evokes the audience's sympathy". To what extend do you agree with this statement? "Eddie Carbone is a classic tragic protagonist whose downfall evokes the audience's sympathy" because he has a noble stature, tragic flaw, free choice and his punishment exceeds the crime. However, he did not have increased awareness. Firstly, a classic tragic protagonist has a noble stature. He or she can be a king, a rich merchant or even a leader. In the story 'A View from the Bridge', Eddie Carbone is a longshoreman, he is well respected and loved by his friends and family members. This can be clearly seen from the way Beatrice treats him. Beatrice tells Eddie that he is 'an angel' and he will 'get a blessing' when Eddie comforts Beatrice that her cousins will be grateful to them for letting them have a shelter when Beatrice is worried that she may not do a good job and Eddie may be mad at her. Not only is Eddie Carbone loved by his family, he is also well respected by his friends. For example, when Eddie goes to Alfieri for law advices, even Alfieri wants to tell Eddie to let Catherine go and bless her, he do not say that directly as he respects Eddie. ...read more.


This is also why Eddie calls the Immigration Bureau and is isolated by the Italian Community. Due to these two tragic flaws, Eddie Carbone falls from his noble stature. Thirdly, a classic tragic protagonist has a free choice. At a certain stage, the tragic protagonist will have a choice of whether he should do something or not, and this decides whether he will become a tragic protagonist. This is because if the protagonist decides to do the right thing, he will not have punishment, which exceeds the crime. In the play, Eddie too, has a choice of whether to call the Immigration Bureau or not. When Eddie is hesitating, 'a phone booth begins to glow on the opposite side of the stage; a faint, lonely blue'. At this point, Eddie is already harboring the idea of calling the Immigration Bureau, but he has a choice on whether to call or not. Eddie always knows the consequences when he calls the Immigration Bureau, but he chooses to go ahead and do it. Even if the whole community isolates Eddie, his family members will not abandon him. Eddie has a choice of making up with Catherine and attend her wedding. ...read more.


This is seen when Eddie says 'you lied about me, Marco. Now say it' and 'wipin' the neighborhood with my name like a dirty rag! I want my name, Marco'. Other than these, Eddie also tells Marco to confess to the people that he is 'a liar'. All these show that Eddie does not realize his mistake at all. I agree that the downfall of Eddie Carbone evokes the audience's sympathy. This is because someone, who is well respected by the community due to his tragic flaws of having incestuous feelings for his niece and excess pride, he falls in status. To Eddie, having status in the community is important to him, but he loses his status. This causes the audience to identify themselves with Eddie and also, sympathize him. Although Eddie is given a free choice as to whether to betray his community, he still goes ahead and does it. Even though Eddie is a betrayer, however, the punishment, which is death, exceeds his crime. This makes the audience pity and feel for Eddie. Hence, I agree that the downfall of Eddie Carbone has successfully evoked the audience's sympathy. In conclusion, I agree to a certain extent to the statement that "Eddie Carbone is the classic tragic protagonist whose downfall evokes the audience's sympathy" as Eddie lacks increased awareness even though he has the other characteristics of a classic tragic protagonist. ...read more.

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