Essay on Eddie Carbone as a Tragic Hero

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Eddie Carbone as a Tragic Hero

Before I decide on whether Eddie Carbone is a tragic hero, we must define what the word 'tragic' and 'hero' actually mean.

'Tragic'- A tragedy is a type of drama. A tragedy traces the fall of the central figure, the 'hero', as he grapples with his destiny. Historically, tragedy started in Ancient Greece. Greek tragedies usually formed on a very important and powerful figure (a king or a prince perhaps) who makes an error or judgement or who has a hamartia (fatal flaw) that leads to his tragic downfall.

In the context of a tragedy, the word 'hero' means the central character or protagonist (the hero) whom we admire or respect in some way, but who is flawed or
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The money issue is a very well addressed issue in the play and is portrayed well, as when the play is set (post World War II), money was very tight, and adopting a child without government benefits (family or not) is very admirable and respectable. Another respectable and admirable thing he has done is accepting two 'submarines' (illegal immigrants effectively) and if he is caught with them he will be fined. Again pops up the money issue where he is putting his money at risk for two people he has never met, and that the only reason he is taking them in is because they are distant relatives of his wife. This shows that at the beginning of the play he is, or seems to be a fairly decent guy. But, on the other hand, as the play progresses, you gradually lose all respect for him. From the very fair and decent guy he is at the beginning of the play, he turns into a bitter, resentful man. He goes from having a gentle fatherly like possessiveness towards Catherine to a highly jealous possessiveness towards Catherine for bitter and selfish reasons. It hints in the play that he has a sexual attraction o Catherine, which he is in self-denial about. Yet the 'icing on the cake' for our losing all respect for him is the fact he can't see what he's doing, how he's acting, all the problems he's caused. Which eventually leads to him turning in the two submarines
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