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To what extent do you feel Miller is successful in presenting Eddie as a tragic hero?

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To what extent do you feel Miller is successful in presenting Eddie as a tragic hero? A tragic hero according to Aristotle, is, 'a [great] man who is neither a paragon of virtue and justice nor undergoes the change to misfortune through any real badness or wickedness but because of some mistake'. In this play, Arthur Miller uses many techniques to try and draw a picture to the audience, that Eddie Carbone is in fact a tragic hero. These techniques are evident throughout the play, however mainly in the scenes where Eddie is about to accommodate Marco and Rodolfo; when Eddie is talking to Mr Alfieri, and finally at the start of the play, in Alfieri's speech. One of the scenes in which Miller is successful in presenting Eddie as a tragic hero to the audience, is at the very start of the play. This is as Miller tries to implement a touch of fear on Eddie's part to present Eddie as a tragic hero, in which he does so through Alfieri's speech. However, at the start of the play, the mood and tone of the play is at the opposite end of fear as there is a general feeling of casualness and ease, which partly stems from the fact that Mr Alfieri is rather informal when speaking to the audience, 'You wouldn't have known it, but... ...read more.


This ultimately stems from the fact that Eddie is illegally accommodating both of Beatrice's cousins; Marco and Rodolfo, two illegal immigrants who, he has never encountered, for the sake of the typical Italian-American tradition of family importance. This alone is an incentive to admire Eddie. Yet, the audience are further drawn into the idea of respecting Eddie, as it is not only the audience who respect him; he is also 'credit[ed]' by his family and friends. 'Believe me, Eddie, you got a lotta credit comin' to you'; 'You're an angel!' This again, in turn makes the audience somewhat more susceptible into thinking of Eddie in high admiration, as his peers and family not only make it obvious that they respect him, but they also underline the point that he more importantly should and deserves to be respected, thus, resulting in the audience respecting him more. However, there is a controversial aspect in this play, as Eddie plays down the fact that he should be respected in the play, 'Aah, they don't bother me, don't cost me nutt'n'. The fact that Eddie doesn't regard his act of generosity as something to be admired about, yet alone something to brag about, ironically, makes the audience admire Eddie more throughout the play as this shows that there is an element of nobleness in Eddie. ...read more.


Eddie's tragic flaw is fundamentally his protectiveness in the form of wanting to keep Catherine to himself as well as his jealousy of Catherine and Rodolfo. The fact that Eddie in his own minds thinks of Catherine as 'his', as well as the fact that Eddie believes that Rodolfo is 'drag[ging]' Catherine away from him without 'permission' renders the audience in a state of mind where they do not automatically wish to sympathise with Eddie but emphasize with Eddie as his extreme prejudice and envy for Rodolfo gets in the way. Especially seeing as throughout the play it is apparent that Rodolfo not only 'respects' Eddie, but also he 'blesses', Eddie in which he is returned by inequality and resentment, which again makes the audience more empathic than sympathetic towards Eddie. Ultimately, Miller does successfully leave the audience with an impression that Eddie is a tragic hero, mainly in the techniques he uses to make the audience fear, admire, pity and empathise Eddie. This, as well as the fact that Eddie dies by his own knife in the play fundamentally is what makes Eddie a tragic hero, as the audience notice a gradual and eventual change in Eddie's character which ultimately ends with him dying by his own account. ...read more.

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