How Arthur Miller Hints at Tragedy in ‘A View from the Bridge’

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In this essay I will describe the way in which Miller hints at the tragedy in the beginning of the play ‘A View from the Bridge’. Miller gives us lots of clues in the opening section to try and get the audience thinking. He wants us to think about how the main character dies not what happened in the end because everyone knows that in a tragedy the main character dies. Miller uses a range of devices e.g. uses of plot devices, the structure foreshadowing o put an impact on the audience understanding of the play.

One reason why we know that this story will lead to a tragic ending is because of a character Alfieri, who is a lawyer and a chorus. He had a speech in the beginning as a chorus and in this speech he tells us a lot about the play. We can tell he is a chorus-figure because he directly spoke to the audience. So, if Alfieri is a chorus then we know that the play belongs to a Greek-tragedy. We know that in a tragedy that the main hero or heroine dies, they die because of their own action and deed, and their death is unstoppable so, we therefore know that in this play the character will die. Alfieri also tells us about the two justice systems, one the American justice and the Sicilian justice. From this I guessed that these two very opposite justice systems will clash. The people who go to America from Sicily will find it difficult as we know that the two laws are totally different. I see this when Alfieri states ‘I no longer keep a pistol in my filing cabinet’. This means that people are following and getting used to the American law rather than Sicilian law where you have to do crimes like killing people, trading in illegal things i.e. drugs, alcohols etc. Alfieri had to use his pistol to protect himself and other people fro...

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...e foreshadowing. For example when Eddie told the story of ‘Vinnie Bolzano’ who grassed on his own family and then he was humiliated because he broke the Sicilian law which was not to tell on your own family and he was never seen again. This also tells us that Sicilian law was very tough and violent; if you break the law then you could die. This story foreshadows what might happen to Eddie and this story makes us sure of it because the audience would think why else would they mention this in the play unless it is something related to Eddie. In the end we actually see this happening to Eddie. Also, there is a dramatic irony on what Eddie said to Catherine about not telling anyone that immigrants were living in his house, but later he himself told this to the immigration officer. For Eddie, his feelings for Catherine were stronger than the belief of Sicilian justice.
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