The Character of Eddie Carbone

The character Eddie Carbone is often thought of as a strong Italian Family man while he proves rather heroic to many. His appearance is revealed in the opening scene, when Miller describes him as “a husky, slightly, overweight longshoremen” suggesting he is rugged and worn due to his practical job. The word husky shows us that he is heavy built and strong which also is used to describe a breed of sled dogs which are strong symbolising Eddie.

Miller presents him as an over possessive man who thinks he knows what is best for others, sometimes leading him to become in control of others.

Arthur shows us that Eddie is very much for his family and that he loves his family, but we start to realise that the love turns into jealousy which leads to anger and heartache. We see this happen as Eddie’s family life leads to a dramatic downfall motivating the events that make up the play. The events contain the multiple devices used by Arthur Miller which create the build of tension from start to end of A View from the Bridge.

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Miller creates the tension by the dramatic use of foreshadowing, the use of metaphors, punctuation, and dramatic irony and by basing his play on the tradition of a Greek tragedy. As soon as the story begins, the first technique Miller uses to present the character of Eddie to the audience is dramatic irony. In the beginning of the play we are lead to believe that something bad is going to happen amongst the play’s ending which was described by Alfieri as a “bloody course” suggesting violence or death was fast approaching.

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Alfieri then tells us about a longshoreman working the docks between the Brooklyn Bridge and the breakwater whose name is Eddie Carbone which introduces him as the main character.

When Catherine, Beatrice’s niece also enters we straight away see a strong possession that Eddie has for her when she was dressed in a skirt, which is claimed to be too short by Eddie. He tells her he doesn’t want her to capture the men’s attention and she questions him which results in him Shouting at her “Now don’t aggravate me, Katie, you are walkin’ wavy!” This has shown the audience that Eddie has a short fuse and that there is a potential jealousy.

Arthur Miller bases the story upon the mythology of a Greek Tragedy. Eddie plays a role of a Greek tragic hero which means that he was trying to do well, but a mistake was made which lead to a spiralling downfall. Eddie tried to look out for and protect his niece from the man she fell in love with, Rodolfo which made Eddie extremely jealous and this is when Eddie started to do all he could to preclude any relationship between Catherine and Rodolfo. Miller wanted society to realise that you should settle for half just like he did instead of being greedy and jealous like Eddie whose actions lead to death and a broken family. So basing the play upon the tradition of a Greek Tragedy would help put over the message of the play which Miller did so well.

Eddie Carbone is an Italian immigrant living in a predominantly Italian area in New York City. He and his family settled for a better life where he could work and provide for his family. As an Italian man you are counted upon to be a masculine and strong figure and somewhat protective of your family. He is the man of the house and he has authority over Beatrice and Catherine but he also likes to show the dominance and higher status when other men are in the house.

Like when Marco and Rodolfo are introduced into the play when they visit Eddie’s home he straight away shakes hands with Marco which shows a welcome into his property and suggests that Eddie is in charge of the household. Also Eddie owns his own rocker chair that could show it acts as his throne making him King of the house. You can make out awkwardness between Marco and Eddie which is shown through the use of short snappy sentences. When Catherine exits to make some coffee, Eddie sits on his rocker; “Yiz have a nice trip?” asked Eddie “The Ocean is always rough. But we are good sailors.” replied Marco. It sounds like Eddie is trying to make an effort, whereas Marco is uncomfortable creating a tension until it is interrupted by Rodolfo.

Catherine shows an interest in Rodolfo which Eddie isn’t very fond of so he uses any excuse to turn Catherine’s attention away from him. So he uses Rodolfo’s effeminate side to claim that he is homosexual. Eddie tries to test Rodolfo’s masculinity, he tells Rodolfo to land a blow at him. Eddie hits Rodolfo with power that makes him stagger to the floor. Catherine tends to Rodolfo to help him up and comfort him. Rodolfo then begun to realise this was one of Eddie’s tries to isolate them, but Rodolfo is stronger than that.

He beckons Catherine and invites her to dance, taking her fully in his arms. Marco is more than confident to show Eddie that he is not the strongest, so he placed a chair directly in front of Eddie and asks if he can elevate it by holding one leg. Eddie says, “Gee, that’s hard, I never knew that.” He repeats trying to lift it, but once again he fails. Marco then tries to lift the chair and successfully gets it up high above his head whilst the family are watching. While Eddie laughs and congratulates Marco, Marco frowns proving that he is certainly stronger which tells Eddie that if he messes with Rodolfo again Marco will assist his brother and beat Eddie. The family see the build of tension as Eddie notices the look on Marco’s face as he wipes the smile away.

Updated: Nov 01, 2022
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The Character of Eddie Carbone. (2020, Jun 01). Retrieved from

The Character of Eddie Carbone essay
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