To What Extent Can Eddie Be Described as a Tragic Hero in ‘a View from the Bridge' by Arthur Miller?

2456 Words May 19th, 2007 10 Pages
In writing ‘A View from the Bridge', Arthur Miller wanted to create a modern Greek tragedy. An Ancient Greek tragedy was a play where fate brings about the downfall of the characters involved. It has many other generic features which Miller has incorporated into his modern version. The character of Alfieri is used in the traditional chorus role, and Eddie is often likened to a tragic hero, the main character who contributes to their own downfall through a flawed personality, typically described as their "tragic flaw". The traditional Greek tragedies would have been performed in amphitheatres, in which the audience would look down on the actors. Not only is this similar to the way Alfieri looks down from the bridge, it is also similar to …show more content…
However, Eddie's tragic flaw is soon exposed as he will not accept the romance between Catherine and Rodolpho. As Eddie realises that their relationship is becoming serious, he degrades Rodolpho at any opportunity by questions his sexuality, at first telling Beatrice ‘he's like a weird…he's like a chorus girl' and then taking the matter up with Alfieri, saying Rodolpho ‘ain't right'. Because Eddie cannot bear to see a man take away Catherine, something in his personality compels him to find any excuse as to why Rodolpho is not good enough for Catherine, and he believes that Rodolpho wants Catherine only to be an American citizen – he is ‘bowing to his passport'. Catherine refuses to accept this argument despite Eddie's pleas, ‘Katie, don't break my heart, listen to me'. This is the first time that Miller reveals some of Eddie's deep feelings directly, and Eddie expresses his feelings to Catherine, although in a way that she will not read too far into them and expose him. Eddie challenges Rodolpho directly by teaching him how to box. Miller demonstrates the tension between them through stage directions as Eddie hits Rodolpho which ‘mildly staggers him'. It seems that Eddie needs to prove himself to be manlier than Rodolpho and thereby, indirectly, more worthy of Catherine. This competition is the beginning of Eddie's downfall. Although Eddie can never have Catherine in the way that many believe he wants her, his

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