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Why does Eddie die at the end of A View from the Bridge?

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Introduction

A View from the Bridge Coursework - Why does Eddie die at the end of the play? After its release in 1956, Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge has provoked a number of varying opinions as to the cause of Eddie Carbone's death. Chiefly, Eddie's climactic murder at the end of the book has been attributed to several key factors and events. Many people argue that his death is a direct result of his actions and the actions of other members of the cast, such as Marco, Rodolpho and Catherine. However, more recent views on the play have concluded that the end of this tragedy is made inevitable by the background and genre of it. Despite this, the death of Eddie Carbone is mainly caused by his actions alone in bringing about his hateful relationships and the dangerous fight that would directly cause his stab wound and kill him. America in the mid-fifties was a political battlefield in fear of the threat from Communist Russia. The deep mistrust and fear of Communism resulted in a great surge of secret police action, suspicion and paranoia. Arthur Miller personally experienced this at the time alongside his friend Elia Kazan and this formed a strong basis for several pieces of his best work. ...read more.

Middle

Although Eddie's jealousy clearly attributes to bringing about the final fight, Eddie's actual death isn't solely caused by it. Instead, the action of bringing the knife is the direct and immediate cause of his death. At the very end of act 2, Miller discretely slips into the stage directions "Eddie springs a knife into his hand" (page 84). This small direction is incredibly significant as without the appearance of the knife, Eddie's death wouldn't have occurred or would at least have been postponed. Since it is Eddie who brings the knife, it's his own action that leads to his death. In spite of this, Eddie's death at the end of the play could be construed as inevitable, due to the genre of the play. A key component in any tragedy is the death of a hero in the conclusion and A View from the Bridge is no different. Eddie portrays the role of the tragic hero - a strong male character faced with a dilemma - and ultimately has to die in the end of the play. This explains the inclusion of the knife in the fight; as the whole second act of the play leads up to the fight, it is the conclusion scene that every tragedy has and results in death, just as every tragedy does. ...read more.

Conclusion

The play itself attributes the death of Eddie to several key things - His actions in bringing about the fight, his actions in the fight, Marco's defensive stance and Catherine and Rodolpho's relationship. Firstly, it is important to realise that without Eddie bringing the knife and attacking Marco and Marco's self-defensive actions, Eddie would not have died. However, Eddie's death is inevitable due to the key features defining the play and therefore, Eddie's death at that moment is mostly caused by him bringing the knife; this weapon changes the fight from a brawl to a battle to the death and it is Eddie who makes that changes. Next, the circumstances that led up to the fight are important also - Catherine and Rodolpho's relationship, Marco's protective attitude to Rodolpho and Eddie's jealousy and stubbornness. Of course, Catherine and Rodolpho's relationship cause Marco to act protectively and Eddie to act on his jealousy however whilst Marco merely asserts his strength to Eddie in the chair lifting scene, Eddie's jealous actions - calling immigration - cause Marco to turn the competition into a fight. Therefore, in both the development of the fight and the actual physical attack, Eddie's jealous and stubborn actions cause Marco to take their aggressive relationship to the next level and ultimately cause Eddie's death. By Jack Gale ?? ?? ?? ?? Jack Gale 1 ...read more.

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