Is Eddie Carbone a tragic hero?
Firstly, before the decision is made on whether Eddie Carbone is classed as a tragic hero, I would like to outline what a tragic hero really means. 'Tragic'- a tragedy is a type of drama, therefore in the context of tragedy, the word 'hero' means the protagonist, someone who we may admire or respect in a way, but who is imperfect, and has a main flaw, which seems to contribute on his own downfall. A hero doesn't necesserily have to be perfect. It is important that a tragic hero acquires self-knowledge and faces up to his own predicament, with honesty and openness. At the beginning of the play, a tragic hero is always a good person; for example Eddie was a loving and caring man, he said to Catherine "I want you to be in a nice office." This shows that he cares for Catherine's future. Eddie Carbone doesn't really fit as a tragic hero considering he is a normal longshoreman, which is ordinary in Red Hook. Just like all men, Eddie "worked on the piers where there was work, he brought home his pay, and he lived." Eddie doesn't have a high status, but on the other hand Eddie may still be categorized as a tragic hero due to his bold imperfection which results in his downfall, Eddie is also respected at the beginning of the play, just like a tragic hero. Eddie's tragic flaw, seems to be his over powering love for his niece Catherine, which makes Eddie's fate unavoidable. His unnatural love for Catherine causes the jealousy betweem him and Rodolfo, Beatrice's Italian cousin, who is also falling for Catherine.
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