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English Literature

Dramatic effect

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The Ending

Beatrice holds Eddie as he dies in her arms.

The ending is poignant. A private tragedy [tragedy: A type of drama in which characters undergo suffering or calamity and which usually ends with a death. A sad or catastrophic event causing suffering or death. ] ends up being acted out in public. All the main characters and other people are on the street outside the apartment to see Eddie killed by Marco. Alfieri rounds off the drama [drama: A play or other performance in which events and dialogue are portrayed by actors on a stage; from the ancient Greek word for 'acting out'. Can also mean exciting or upsetting events. ] by reminding us that Eddie's death was useless and that he loved him, but that he mourns him with "a certain... alarm." What does Alfieri mean by this?

  • He is thinking that even though he could predict what was going to happen, even he - a lawyer - could do nothing to prevent it.
  • Probably he is thinking that Eddie's faults are common ones, and that his story should be a warning to us all to be more self-aware.
  • Perhaps another, equally disturbing thought has occurred to him: that when it finally comes, Eddie's destruction feels not only tragic, but in some way right and appropriate: like the old generation making way for the new.

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