Is Eddie a Tragic Hero? (the View from the Bridge)

Topics: Tragic hero, Tragedy, Poetics Pages: 3 (1230 words) Published: September 4, 2013
Is Eddie a Tragic hero for our times?
A tragic hero, referring to the real definition, is “a literary character who makes an error of judgment or has a fatal flaw that, combined with fate and external forces, brings on a tragedy.” (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/tragic+hero) The play, A View from the Bridge written by Arthur Miller defines the character Eddie, the protagonist, as occupying most of the qualities for a tragic hero.

Eddie in A View from the Bridge came from a noble family background and had failed to realize his weakness that he had love for his niece. In this case, this love is not an adopted daughter and a father love but rather the love of a man to a woman. This tradition of a tragic hero, the wealthy or the royal was always thought to be a better person. When the “reversal of fortune” occurs to a more wealthy person such as Eddie, it will shook him more, and it’s very hard to overcome that reversal and most of them would choose death rather than been banned from the society. In Miller’s writing of “Tragedy and the Common man”, clearly stated that “the underlying struggle is that of the individual attempting to gain his rightful position in his society” which could be concluded as the internal struggle of how they want to be accepted in the society. In the last part of the play, Eddie repeated many times that he wants Marco to apologize him in front of the crowd, which proves that he is not angry for what he’d done to him, but he’s angry of how Marco had destroyed his face in the society. Therefore it is quite clear that Eddie is a tragic hero in terms of his personal tragic flaws that finally led to a tragic ending.

From the first act, Arthur Miller had outlined the action into many steps to see the development of Eddie’s tragic flaw and seeing his declines in fortune and honors. Firstly, the action when Rudolpho dances with Catherine (allowing physical closeness), which is a symbol to Eddie that his “girl” is taken away. He had...
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