The Dramatic Importance Of The Role Of Alfieri In A View From The Bridge

1736 words - 7 pages

The Dramatic Importance of the Role of Alfieri in A View From the Bridge

First performed in 1956. Arthur Millers play 'A view from the bridge'
was originally set in the 1940's and started life as a one act verse
before Arthur Miller converted it to a two act play to enhance and
make it more enjoyable for the audience of today. In the title 'A view
from the bridge' Arthur Miller is referring to the Brooklyn Bridge
which used to be the largest cable bridge in the world and its main
purpose is to separate Manhattan from the slums of Brooklyn such as
Redhook. One of Arthur Miller's main intentions for writing this play
was to show that it is still possible for all the pressures and
problems of the modern world while encountering the difficulty of how
to deal with the responsibility of individuals as seen in Greek
tragedies. This was a big aim for Arthur Miller's play to have made a
Modern Greek tragedy with all the main ingredients of one. These main
attributes for a Greek tragedy can all be seen in 'A view from the
bridge' and some of these include the chorus who is in the form of
Alfieri while other aspects include the antagonist, a catastrophe, a
prologue, a protagonist and the destiny of fate and are all fixed on
the characters. During the prologue which is in the form of a long
speech to the audience (a soliloquy) by Alfieri which sets the
background to the play but also manages to give the play a sense of
inevitability of the events that are about to take place by Alfieri's
clues and hints but also by some of the vocabulary he uses such as
"destiny" and the references he makes to beatings up of lawyers and Al
Capone; the famous 1930's gangster. The play is built around the
relationships involving Eddie Carbone with the people around him.
Eddie is a longshoreman and earns his living on the New York docks and
he is the plays protagonist but also as a famous Greek philosopher
called Aristotle said " The tragic hero is one who is neither
villainous nor exceptionally virtuous, moving from happiness to misery
through some frailty or error in judgement." And this is exactly what
Eddie Carbone is, a tragic hero. The plot is based around Eddie
agreeing to shelter Marco and Rodolfo (his wife, Beatrice's illegally
immigrated cousins) while they seek refuge in the Sicilian community
of Redhook. As his wife's niece Catherine whom he has unconditional
love for as a daughter begins to take a liking to Rodolfo, Eddies love
begins to transform into jealousy and hate of Rodolfo and as a
consequence Eddie commits an unjustifiable and indefensible act of
hatred which in the Sicilian community would be classed as a 'crime'
against everybody around him including his family by revealing Marco
and Rodolfo to the immigration bureau.

The background to Arthur Millers 'A view from the bridge' and also the...

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