The play “A View from the Bridge” is a tragedy, and a classical Greek tragedy involves a central character called a tragic protagonist or hero. The protagonist suffers serious misfortune, and this misfortune is linked with the actions of the protagonist. A tragedy shows how vulnerable humans are and how their suffering is generally undeserved concerning its harshness. In a Greek tragedy there is also a chorus.
The job of a chorus is to keep the audience informed to what is happening in the play. In “A View from the Bridge” the character Alfieri is used as the chorus. At the beginning of the play Alfieri is speaking to the audience and he can see that a tragedy is about to occur, “sat there as powerless a I, and watched it run its bloody course.” Miller uses Eddie Carbone as the protagonist in a view from a bridge. Eddie has a flaw which then leads to his death. Eddies flaw causes him to act differently to how he usually would.
Eddie Carbone is presented to the reader as a hard working and respected character in the Italian community in Red Hook. The beginning of the play shows Eddie pitching coins with Louis another worker. Louis and another worker Mike are in the play to show that Eddie is respected and looked up to in the community. Eddie tells the story of Vinny Bolzano to make sure that Catherine and Beatrice don’t tell anyone about Rodolfo and Marco.
He is married to Beatrice, and together they look after Beatrice’s niece. Her niece is called Catherine and Beatrice and Eddie treat her as their own daughter. Eddies flaw is shown right at the beginning of the play although it may not get picked up straight away. Catherine shows Eddie her new dress and gets positive comments, perhaps too positive. He tells her that she looks beautiful but then Eddie tells her that he doesn’t like her walking the streets wearing that sort of clothing, he says that he doesn’t the way people look at her, “I don’t like the looks they’re giving you at the candy store.” Eddie is jealous of the other people because the looks they give Catherine.
Beatrice notices the way that Eddie acts towards Catherine, this is his flaw, he has too strong feelings for Catherine and doesn’t seem to want her to grow up as she will move away and meet new people. Eddie is unaware of his problem. When Rodolfo and Marco arrive in Red Hook, Catherine and Rodolfo are attracted to each other. Eddie doesn’t like this idea and becomes agitated as he can’t bear anyone to like Catherine as he thinks that she belongs to him, and he soon starts to make things up so that he doesn’t like Rodolfo. If Rodolfo and Catherine didn’t have feelings for each other Eddie wouldn’t have any sort of problem with Rodolfo.
He uses Rodolfo’s looks, talent and the fact that he is an illegal immigrant against him and tries to convince that their love is wrong. He convinces himself that because Rodolfo has fair hair and that he can sing that he is gay. He also tries to tell Catherine that Rodolfo only wants her because when they get married he will get his American passport. This is the start of Eddies self destruction. Eddie turns to Alfiere for help, but he can also tell that Eddie has too strong feelings for Catherine. He even warns him, “a man works hard, he brings up a child, sometimes it’s a niece, sometimes even a daughter, and he never realises it, but through the years-there is too much love for the daughter, there is too much love for the niece.”
Later on in the play Eddie enters to find out that Rodolfo and Catherine have just made love, he is extremely angered and forces himself on both Rodolfo and Catherine and kisses them. He does this to try and show his authority over Catherine. He then visits Alfiere again only to be told to let her go, but Eddie decides to betray Rodolfo and Marco and tell the immigration authorities about them. By doing this he hopes to be able to have Catherine for himself. This doesn’t happen as Rodolfo and Catherine had already decided to get married. Marco on the other hand still has to go to court.
Marco is incredibly angry at Eddie for what he has done and while on bail he goes to fight him. Eddie also wants to fight, claiming that he has done nothing wrong and that he wants his respect back. Before he goes to fight Beatrice shouts to Eddie “you want something you can’t have…and you can never have her.” He goes to stab Marco but ends up being stabbed because Marco turns the blade. When dying it seems like Eddie realises his flaw, as he turns to Beatrice and not Catherine.
Miller succeeds in making “A view from the Bridge” a tragedy as he includes five factors which make a tragedy. These factors are: a good person, a fatal flaw leading to self destruction, others being able to see what will happen, and finally pity in the audience for the protagonist. The audience feels pity for Eddie as he was a normal hard working man stuck in a situation he couldn’t control.