Understanding Arthur Miller's Play "A View From The Bridge" Essay

Understanding Arthur Miller's Play "A View From The Bridge" Essay

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In the play ‘A View from the Bridge’, an Italian-American family take in two illegal immigrants. The youngest of them, Rudolpho, falls in love with the niece of Beatrice, Catherine. Eddie Carbone, the main character, is driven by desire and lust, which eventually brings upon his own downfall. He calls the Immigration Bureau to arrest the two immigrants in an attempt to get his niece back, and so the scheme fails, and the play ends when Marco murders Eddie in a mere act of self-defence. Miller uses the character of Alfieri to increase dramatic tension throughout the play, doing so by introducing the idea of inevitability in the play. He establishes the character as a chorus, a component of early Greek theatre and tragedies. Alfieri basically expresses to the audience what the main character, Eddie Carbone, could not say, such as his fears or secrets. By knowing what will happen, and knowing how the play would end, whether a happy ending or sad, the principle of certainty and inevitability is revealed. Alfieri isn’t even capable of changing anything, altering the future, which also increases dramatic tension in the play. Throughout, Alfieri’s roles are obvious; he’s both the family lawyer and also the narrator of the play.
Alfieri is the narrator of the story, setting the scene, and helping the audience understand the story better. He tells us more about the characters and also provides background information that we might not have known. In the play, Alfieri also provides characters with the insight they could need, which is also a characteristic of the chorus. He does this with Eddie, persuading him to stop quarrelling with Marco when they were jailed. Alfieri as a narrator also makes the audience become more involved while he p...


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...t as I read the play I sensed that Alfieri didn’t care much about what happened. He seemed like an apathetic bystander, waiting himself for this accident to happen. In the quote “...to meet a lawyer or a priest on the street is unlucky”, he seems quite self-effacing and sorry for himself. He says that lawyers like him are only thought of in connection with disasters. Since this is said in the beginning of the play we are already exposed to Miller’s main theme, the idea of inevitability, before Alfieri himself tells us about his trivial involvement in the actions of Eddie Carbone. He was only there to advise the characters on what to do, while also reminding the audience of the inevitable ending - “I could see every step coming, step after step, like a dark figure walking down a hall towards a certain door”. Little did Eddie know that this was the door to his death.

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