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Doom And Staging From 'a View From A Bridge'

3780 words - 15 pages

Arthur Miller wrote 'A View from the Bridge´ in 1955. The structure of this play is relatively uncomplicated. It is set in the late 1940´s amidst the Sicilian community in Brooklyn, New York. It is said to be a modern version of a Greek tragedy with its powerful speeches and references to fate. A lawyer, Alfieri re-tells his account as he 'oversees´ the events that take place. The play is in two acts, but careful incisions by Alfieri help the audience to reflect on the events that have just happened. The title of the play is based on the Brooklyn Bridge and Alfieri having a view from on top of it. Since this play is supposed to be a modern version of a Greek tragedy, tragic events take place throughout the play. The concept of impending doom is something that is threatening to happen, and throughout this essay, I will go into depth about how Arthur Miller created this atmosphere through his written language and stage directions. This thrilling and tragic drama is about incestuous love, jealousy and betrayal.Alfieri is a lawyer who works for the Sicilian community in Brooklyn. He opens the play with a very exposing account of what life used to be like and is like in that particular community. The audience knows from that speech everything about Alfieri and about the community in Red Hook. He launches into graphic detail about past bandits and murders and about how justice is very important to the Italians. The community is the 'gullet of New York,´ which is 'swallowing the tonnage of the world.´ This sentence is quite ironic since Red Hook is a fishing town and tonnage is another word for cargo. Alfieri speaks as though Red Hook has swallowed up all the complications of the world and is now reduced to a slum. This creates a vivid mental picture and therefore invents the ideal environment for tragic goings on. Alfieri also utters an intriguing statement, 'now we settle for half.´ This proclamation gives the impression that in this Italian community pride and justice is fierce and that no one will settle for half of what they believe is right. Alfieri makes this statement in the past tense leaving the question did the events that Alfieri witness determine whether people settle for half. He also wonders if there is another unfortunate lawyer sitting back, unable to do anything as the events, 'run their bloody course.´ The indirect reference to blood creates another question about whether blood will be shed, considering the Italian community has a reputation to fight to the death. Alfieri is essential to the structure of the play as he opens and closes the play. I believe that he is Arthur Miller's mouthpiece and he moves the action that Miller has once witnessed.Eddie Carbone is then introduced as a 'slightly overweight longshoreman´ and we see straight away that he is a character of authority when Catherine appears and waits on him in an affectionate way. Catherine is an 18-year old who, because of her...

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