Why is 'A View From the Bridge' a tragedy?
Arthur Miller has written the play a ‘View from the Bridge’ in the form of modern tragedy. In this sense it is the tragedy of one man, Eddie because he loses his life. However all of the characters in the play are affected. ‘This one’s name was Eddie Carbone’. This is spoken by the chorus Alfieri. Alfieri is used to show the life of Eddie. He replays the action and then comments on it to the audience. At the beginning of the play Eddie is a respected, hard working, family man. ‘He was as good man as he had to be’. This shows that Eddie ‘was’ something. He must have done something which changed his behaviour, which was to lead to his tragic end, encouraging the audience to read on.
Characteristics which make a tragedy include there will be a fatal flaw, the protagonist will cause his own death and there is a chorus, in this case Eddie being stabbed. Also in a tragedy, the protagonist will be a person with potential. At first the audience will believe they will do well in life and that the protagonist is a good person. We can see this from 'A view from the bridge' where at the beginning Eddie is thought to be kind and respected in his community. He also seems kind because he is hard working and he has adopted Catherine.
Alfieri is a well educated man who studies and respects American law, but is still loyal to Italian customs. The audience feels that they can trust him because he is a lawyer. He refers to Eddie in the past early on in the play, immediately informing the audience that later on Eddie either dies or goes missing. He is cast as the chorus part in Eddie's tragedy. Alfieri informs the audience and provides commentary on what is happening in the story. The description of the people within the play and narration at the beginning of every scene change helps to distinguish the short chapters of the tale. Alfieri admittedly cannot help Eddie Carbone, but must powerlessly watch the tragic events...