In 'A View From the Bridge' Miller uses Alfieri in a great number of
ways, sometimes to support the action, to narrate and to add to the
literary conventions of the play. For example, to act as the chorus
would have throughout a Greek tragedy, which would have been to
comment on the action and to fill in minor parts of the play. Alfieri
is used for both of these things. He delivers the prologue at the
beginning and also appears in the action as the lawyer who observes
the events and is therefore able to tell us the story afterwards.
The story line relates to this idea of a Greek tragedy, Eddie is seen
as the protagonist hero, an essential role in traditional Greek
tragedy. This character would undergo an ordeal that would give some
kind of religious message to the audience, in this case, the message
we receive is not religious but it does convey the social realism of
the 'laws' of society that Miller was keen to get across.
Miller was extremely interested in the theme of people as social
beings, and the decline of one man in a society of law, justice,
honour, and love, all of which eventually contribute to Eddie's
downfall. The laws and rules of society are clearly set out and what
Miller is trying to show, is that when just one person breaks one of
the unwritten laws, it can result in devastating consequences. His
interest in this goes beyond 'A View from the Bridge'. The downfall of
an entire society is shown in another play by Miller 'The Crucible',
in which he shows how a society crumbles under suspicion and distrust
when just a few people lie to each other.
The fact that...
... middle of paper ...
...o darkness, we never hear of
him leaving and so he is always close by. This combined with his act
of narrator and chorus contribute towards him being almost our
companion whilst we move through the play, especially as he addresses
us, as the audience, directly.
In conclusion, Miller uses Alfieri in a number of different ways. As
chorus, narrator, character in action, dramatic device, and to uphold
many of the plays themes. Alfieri is a key character and without his
input, it is impossible to identify with the themes and to appreciate
the relevance of the play and the fate of its protagonist. It is
through this, that we understand and judge the play correctly,
empathise with the characters and gain the intended emotions from
witnessing the struggle and pain caused when someone breaks the
unwritten laws of society.
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