Importance of Alfieri in A View from the Bridge

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How is the Character of Alfieri important to the play as a whole?

The character of Alfieri appears at the very beginning of the play being the first character the audience is introduced to. As the narrator of the play, Alfieri introduces the audience to himself, the other characters and also, within his opening speech, links to many ideas which foreshadow the events throughout the play. Alfieri as the narrator of the play could also be linked to the chorus within the Greek tragedy play structure. Through this he stands apart from the drama that engulfs the other characters and is a trustworthy observer as he comments on what is happening with the other characters. By talking directly to the audience he gives an insight to the other characters from his view, ‘This ones name was Eddie Carbone, a longshoreman…’ ultimately allowing the audience to gain a quicker view of the characters. Throughout the play the audience can see that Alfieri does not want anything from anyone else in the story, only getting involved to help and give advice to those such as Eddie and Marco. This is showing the importance of being a detached observer but also part of the community. The details the audience learns about Alfieri in his opening speech, ‘I am a lawyer.’ are not to present his personal character to the audience but to give the setting of the play and his important position within it in relation to the other characters. Through Alfieri’s opening speech the audience becomes aware of his profession as a lawyer but also that between him and the rest of the community there lies ‘years of distrust.’ This may be due to the fact he is a higher rank to them with his wife and friends telling him that the people he works for ‘lack elegance, glamour.’ However, the relationship Eddie has with Alfieri goes beyond the lawyer/client relationship. This suggests the fact that even though Alfieri told Eddie there was ‘no recourse in law’ he could use to stop Catherine marrying Rodolfo, Eddie...
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