It's a drama because it's a play, a piece of literature that's never fully realized until it's put on stage in front of an audience. On the micro level, it's a family drama, for pretty self-explanatory reasons. It's a drama about a family. When the conflicts of the family spill out into the whole community, the play is elevated to another level all together. It becomes a tragedy. However, unlike Greek and Shakespearean tragedies, it's not about royalty. Eddie Carbone is a working class longshoreman. Arthur Miller would call the play a "tragedy of the common man." For more information on that, check out the link to his famous essay with the same title in our "Best of the Web" section. It's under "Documents."