30 September 2018
A Tragedy with Greek and Modern Characteristics
Arthur Miller, the author of A View From The Bridge is classified as a tragedy as it consists of both Greek and modern characteristics. For instance, modern heroes share similar concept of a common man who seeks displacement from society. Alternatively, in the Greek tragic heroes’ fates are predetermined through divine beings who seek to escape judgment. In the novel, Eddie is a common man which shows when Alfieri said, “Eddie Carbone had never expected to have a destiny. A man works, raises his family, goes bowling, eats, gets old, and then he dies.” (Miller 27). This shows that Eddie was predetermined to be a common man that follows the cycle of life; however through the process of restoring the order in his household he has transition from the common man to a tragic hero. Due to his moral blindness of pride meaning to say that he is unable to find the solution to accept and be thankful for what he had which was his family. He attempts to avoid the inevitable judgment as the common man that causes his actions to go spiral that leads to his destruction. Also, a modern tragic setting is defined as a realistic world chaos, where the tragic hero is oppressed and trapped in a labyrinth. In the attempt to escaped the labyrinth he stumbles and finds himself staring at a wall that he could never withstand. A View From The Bridge takes place in Red Hook; it’s a small community, where everyone knows everyone. As Marco and Rodolpho were escorted out of the apartment by two officers that causes commotions that led the neighbors to gather and watch from afar. Marco accuses Eddie of betrayal as he look at Lipari and Eddie is enraged and responds, “He’s gonna take that back. Hes gonna take that back or I’ll kill him! You hear me? I’ll kill him!” (Miller 71). This highlights the ripple of Eddie’s pride, and his reputation in his community; Eddie wanted to satisfy his own pride by following the expectation of society. The expectation to be a great father figure and a hard worker, however Rodolpho who was the talk of the town due to his feminine qualities has challenged Eddie to respond to Marco’s act of vengeance of the unfair treatment his family received from Eddie. This leads him to lose and recklessly takes on an unwinnable threat. As Eddie strives for success, he eventually finds himself defeated through his attempt to change his destiny. Furthermore, Greek tragedy commonly makes great use of irony to establish an atmosphere for the audience to feel pity, fear and catharsis towards certain characters and events. For an instance, when Eddie and Beatrice were discussing the arrival of Beatrice’s cousins. Eddie said, “Listen, if everybody keep his mouth shut, nothin’ can happen.” (Miller 9). This was ironic because Eddie who strongly supported the idea of family honor, was the first to abandon and tarnish due to this disagreement and approval of Rodolpho. As the story progressed Eddie has becomes more controlling and manipulative towards Catharine. He tries his best to break the couple apart that makes the audience feels pity for Catharine as she is not permitted to be with the one she loves; and fearful towards Eddie as he has become power hunger and manipulative towards his family. Throughout the novel, Arthur Miller does a great job using irony to create an atmosphere to invoke emotions towards the characters of the play. A modern tragic hero will frequently undergo complication, disaster through their own actions, to recognition. For instance, when Catharine declares her love for Rodolpho, Eddie is flustered and says “That’s a hit-and-run guy, baby; he’s got bright lights in his head, Broadway. Them guys don’t think of nobody but theirself.” (Miller 34-35). This highlights how much Eddie loves Catharine. Eddie’s is then enraged causing him to neglect Catharine feelings and leads him to forcefully break Catharine and Rodolpho apart. Initially, Eddie should have considered Catharine’s feelings and discussed their differences. However, Eddie was rash and a spiral of the causes and effects that leads Eddie to his destruction. Overall, Arthur Miller uses of both Greek and modern characteristics to classify A View From The Bridge as a tragedy.
Miller, Arthur, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. A View from the Bridge: a Play in Two Acts. Penguin Books, 2010.