A View from the Bridge Play Scripted by Arthur Miller in 1955

Topics: Tragedy, Theatre of ancient Greece, Poetics Pages: 82 (34360 words) Published: June 5, 2011
A View From the Bridge

"A view from the bridge" is a play scripted by Arthur Miller in 1955. The play is based in a city called Brooklyn which is situated in the state of New York. A view from the bridge is presented to the audience by a prominent character called Alfieri. Alfieri is the most significant character in the play because he is known as a good lawyer, a good friend to Eddie Carbone (a longshoreman) and surprisingly he is also the narrator. Alfieri is obviously the most significant character in the play. Alfieri as a character is known as a well respected lawyer and a close friend to Eddie. Throughout all the play Alfieri is helping Eddie with all his problems. "I know it Mr Alfieri, the guy ain't right".

Alfieri does not only help Eddie, he also helps his niece, Catherine. Catherine has strangely fallen in love with an immigrant from Sicily called Rodolpho and has promised to marry him in the near future. She speaks to Alfieri about Eddie's disapproval of the wedding and how he doesn't like Rodolpho. Without letting the audience know, Alfieri is showing himself as an educated and intelligent man by staying neutral and not taking sides in all the situations he had come across. Another one of Alfieri's roles in the play is a narrator. A narrator is an important role in any play, and to be a character and a narrator is very distinct. Throughout all of the play he introduces the scenes with a small speech or a prediction. The most significant speeches Alfieri makes are the first and last. The first speech is about life in Brooklyn and what the world has come to. "In this neighbourhood to meet a lawyer or a priest on the streets is unlucky." This quote actually shows the audience the difference between classes and how everyone is different in their own way. Undoubtedly he introduces himself with an informative description. "I am a lawyer…………I was born in Italy."

Alfieri is specifically giving information to the audience, however the last three sentences are the most significant as they introduce one of the main characters, "Eddie". Alfieri uses this specific name because it relates to what he was saying about "cases and compensation". By the end of the speech, the audience know that the events they are awaiting will be "bloody" in its conclusion, as Alfieri himself said "watched it run its bloody course". This specific phrase shows that Alfieri is predicting the play, this indicates his importance in the play as a narrator. Alfieri's last speech is highly influential as he explains to the audience about "settling for half" and how Eddie couldn't do this. Alfieri also expresses his feelings towards Eddie by trying to make the audience feel sorry for him. "his useless death"

This speech is not only expressing Alfieri's feelings but it is drawing the audience back into the play by helping them understand the situation from Eddie's point of view. Alfieri is known to be powerful, intelligent and educated; these properties are known to be manly. Eddie is able to respect Alfieri because of this, however his obsession and unnatural with Catherine is something he is unable to control, and instead he focuses his anger on the very feminine Rodolpho. Rodolpho is discriminated by Eddie because of his feminine qualities, such as, sewing, singing, and baking cakes. Eddie continues to tell him this throughout the play. Still, Eddie did agree to shelter him when he had come from Sicily as an immigrant. Eddie is unable accept this and instead he finds it repulsive and can not give Catherine and Rodolpho their wedding blessings. "if you wasn't an orphan, wouldn't he ask your fathers permission before he run around you like this." This leads to the issue of compromising, something Eddie couldn't do, despite Alfieri's efforts of indicating the importance of compromise. Eddie could not come to an understanding and continued with his scheme to break up Catherine and Rodolpho and stop the wedding. Compromising is important in all...
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