Tragedy And The Common Man Summary

The sample paper on Tragedy And The Common Man Summary familiarizes the reader with the topic-related facts, theories, and approaches. Scroll down to read the entire paper.

Arthur Miller’s play, “A View from the Bridge”, was a successful tragedy, when it appeared on Broadway in New York in 1955.Artur Miller, born in 1915 died in 2005. His father was a prosperous manufacturer until 1931, during the great depression, when his business failed and he became bankrupt. Miller briefly became a member of the communist party because of the failure of his father’s business then turned to a belief in socialism for the rest of his life.

After graduating from the University of Michigan, Miller began to write plays. His marriage to Marilyn Monroe, the most famous movie actress of her era, lasted merely four years. Miller won the Nobel Prize for literature in recognition of his successful career as a dramatist. He is without doubt one of America’s finest playwrights.

During the cold war the United States’ fear of the Soviet Union led to a witch hunt for communists.

Miller, as a former communist and a socialist believing that it was the role of society to help those who cannot help themselves, was summoned before the senate sub-committee to answer questions about his political affiliations. From this experience his tragedy, “The Crucible”, arose, in which he uses the hunt for witches in Salem Massachusetts in the eighteenth century as an allegory of the hunt for communists in the 1950’s.

“A View from the Bridge”, written just two years later, is generally seen as a tragedy, in which the central character is driven to his ruin and death by his illicit passion for his niece.

Get quality help now

Proficient in: American Dream

5 (339)

“ KarrieWrites did such a phenomenal job on this assignment! He completed it prior to its deadline and was thorough and informative. ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

Miller believed that he was living in a tragic age, what with two world wars, depression and the cold war. What was new, he believed, was the possibility of a tragedy of a common man, rather than only kings and queens which it always had been, dating back to the first tragedies in ancient Greece.

Tragedy And The Common Man Questions And Answers

Furthermore, it would make the play something that ordinary people could relate to. The twentieth century was the age of democracy – America didn’t have a monarch and the ones left in the world no longer held any power. Therefore everyone in society could aspire to achieve power no matter what their background, and the way to achieve that power was through the accumulation of money. His plays mount attacks on the “American dream” that happiness is attainable through financial success, even for a common man like Eddie; his belief in that dream is the source of his tragedy

Eddie Carbone does not only contribute to the tragedy of the play, he is the tragedy. Although other characters help to assist the tragedy, like Rodolfo and Catherine, most of it was brought on by Eddie himself. Therefore his death seems inevitable. Eddie Carbone’s problem was, as Alfieri the lawyer and narrator, to whom Eddie turns in distress, said, “He wouldn’t settle for half”. Throughout the whole play, there was hardly an occasion when he would back down or compromise. This partly stems from his patriarchal Sicilian culture where the man of the house is the most important figure in the family and is never questioned. There was a strong belief in the importance of honour and the need to respond to any sleight upon it, as is very evident throughout the play.

Eddie and his family live under the Brooklyn Bridge, in the slums of New York, a community called Red Hook. Eddie and all his neighbours were once illegal immigrants or the children of illegal immigrants who would have come to America with nothing, in the hope of achieving happiness and respect through material success. This idea of the “American dream” contributes to the tragedy, since Eddie was trying to give Marco and Rodolfo this chance of attaining the dream too. The two illegal immigrants were from impoverished post-war Sicily; they were cousins of Eddie’s wife Beatrice. It is ironic that what was originally a kind thing to do turned out to be his fatal mistake.

In the opening scene we can clearly see that Eddie is the dominant figure within the family. Catherine defers to him and obeys his every word. She will do anything to please him, which is typical of a Sicilian family where the father is the head of the house: “Listen you been given me the willies the way you walk down the street”. Eddie, by modern standards, appears incredibly interfering and intrusive. Just the word “listen” illustrates the fact that he thinks he’s very important. Eddie goes on to say, “I’m telling you you’re walkin wavy.” This is a strange way of putting it, as though the subject embarrasses him and he probably realises it’s not something a father should really be saying to a seventeen year old girl.

He starts the sentence with “I’m telling you”, a very over-powering way of starting the sentence, implying that the subject is not up for discussion. Catherine’s reaction to Eddie’s accusation is, “I’m walkin wavy?” This shows how na�ve she is, as though she can’t believe what he’s saying. Such a dominant figure as Eddie obviously doesn’t expect to be questioned so snaps back: “Don’t aggravate me Katie, you are walkin wavy” Eddie is not willing to compromise on the subject, so that is the end of it: “The heads are turnin like windmills”.

Eddie doesn’t like the attention Catherine gets from any man and what he probably means is that he can’t stop looking at her himself. It makes him feel uncomfortable. Catherine’s behaviour torments him as he realises he should not be fancying her, but at the same time he doesn’t want her having any other admirers the conflict consumes him and on the surface appears as if Eddie’s is merely over-protective towards Catherine.

Cite this page

Tragedy And The Common Man Summary. (2019, Dec 06). Retrieved from

Tragedy And The Common Man Summary
Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7