Eddie's Presentation in 'A View from the Bridge'

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Eddie Carbone, the protagonist of the play, is in many ways a tragic hero and like all tragic heroes has a fatal flaw. Eddie’s harmatia is his incestuous feelings for Catherine. Arthur Miller has used the character of Eddie as an everyman perhaps to show that any person can make mistakes with ones feelings. Through the character of Eddie we witness the downfall of a decent man who loses control of his actions.

In the early stages of the play, we see Eddie over protective of Catherine but possibly in a paternal way when he says ‘I don’t like the looks they’re giving you...heads are turning like windmills’ although it is quite normal for a father to protect his daughter Eddie’s problem is really with how the men are looking at Catherine rather than her well beings. The reader is also made aware that Eddie has made a lot of sacrifices for Catherine ‘I took out my own mouth to give it to her’ clearly when it comes to his family Eddie puts other people before himself this is also evident as he allows Marco and Rodolfo, people he has never met before, to stay illegally at his home.  Later in the play there are clues about his true feelings for example when Catherine lights Eddie’s cigar she does it eagerly saying ‘here! I’ll light it for you’ the cigar is a phallic image and hints Eddie’s subconscious desire for Catherine as it gives him unusual pleasure.

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Eddie is unaware of his attraction to Catherine so his feelings are manifested in hatred towards Marco and Rodolfo. Eddie’s dislike for Rodolfo is displayed almost immediately after they arrive as ‘he is coming more and more addressed to Marco only’ this suggests that Eddie has no intentions of getting to know Rodolfo as he feels threatened by him. Miller builds up the aggressive nature of Eddie’s behaviour and also how quickly he establishes how volatile he can be. In the middle of Rodolfo’s song the playwright shows us how unsettled Eddie is when the stage directions indicate that ‘Eddie ...

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