• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A View fro the Bridge - Examine Alfieri's role within the play. What functions does he perform?

Extracts from this document...


Examine Alfieri's role within the play. What functions does he perform? Many hundreds of years ago, the ancient Greeks produced the first theatre. This theatre, at first, had no actors and the numerous chorus figures told the whole story, which was usually a tragedy. Later, in the 6th century B.C., Thespis introduced the actor. The chorus figure was still in plays - he now commented on the action, divided it into scenes and linked these scenes together by covering any action that the audience didn't see during a time gap. He represents sanity, reason and compassion in modern plays. The choric figure usually talks more standard English, and this is true in this play, where Alfieri is much more articulate than most of the characters. Arthur Miller has used this characteristic in Alfieri to divide each act into unofficial scenes, and inform the audience on any missed action. ...read more.


Alfirei's character is as a Lawyer. The community in the play respect Alfieri, and view him as the authoritative figure in the play. As Alfieri reminds us in his introductory speech, Lawyers are only thought of in connection with disasters. (Another theme that Arthur Miller uses Alfieri to portray, it that of repetition. In the introductory scene, Alfieri refers to the repetition of events throughout history when he says, "Another lawyer, quite differently dressed, heard the same complaint." Alfieri also repeats himself throughout the play, reinforcing this theme. In both his main scenes as a Lawyer he says how, "His eyes were like tunnels," referring to Eddie.) In most of Alfieri's scenes he develops the action, moving time forwards and setting the new time, place and situation, as he does in both of the next two scenes. In the first of the two scenes, the audience feel again like they know what is going to happen, "He was as good a man as he had to be." ...read more.


After a Lawyer scene, the audience knows why Eddie believes he is doing what he is, and they may even sympathize with him. The only time Eddie shows his feelings is when he's inside Alfieri's office. As a chorus character he knows what is going to happen, but even so he tries to stop it, "She can't marry you, can she?" He also sees Eddie's feelings, and tries to relate them to the audience, "There is too much love for the niece" The scene after this is where Eddie challenges the masculinity of Rodolpho. Without the Lawyer scene the audience wouldn't have known why exactly Eddie was challenging Rodolpho. After watching the Lawyer scene, the subtext becomes much clearer to the audience. Here we have a clear departure from the rules of conventional realism where actors don't talk to the audience as this breaks the fictional illusion. This facilitative and introductory role, mediating between audience and stage-action, was something undertaken by the Chorus in Greek theatre. Alfieri's role and manner seem to be the modern equivalent of this ancient device. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Arthur Miller section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Arthur Miller essays

  1. "A view from the bridge".

    As a character, Alfieri is a lawyer who Eddie trusts and goes to for advice several times throughout the play. For example, Eddie goes to Alfieri to ask about Catherine falling in love with Rodolpho and what he should do, he asks Alfieri "I'm talking to you confidential, ain't I".

  2. Discuss the role of Alfieri in Arthur Miller's 'A View From The Bridge'

    This adds to the audience's awareness of Alfieri's desperation to prevent the tragic outcome by making Eddie see how it will "end". Alfieri's attempts to stop the situation ending in tragedy - ultimately Eddie's death, could be seen as a bridge between life and death - a bridge which Eddie is walking along.

  1. A View from the Bridge. Although Eddie is a good man, how do his ...

    a million dollars that was stole than a word you gave away." Such prophetic words illustrate the strength of his unwillingness to accept the harmlessness of trusting people and reveal the irony and madness of Eddie's character. Miller sets Eddie up so vehemently against betrayal that his transition to actually becoming the betrayer seems illogical.

  2. Alfieri - A view from the bridge.

    nearer, and the way he says, "step after step" makes the audience very eager, to see these steps. As he could have just said " I could see every step coming". I think that the opening monologue from Alfieri is very important so that the rest of the play goes well.

  1. Free essay

    Explain the dramatic significance of Mr Alfieri.

    'You have five or six weeks you could work. Or else you sit here.' Mr Alfieri is a complex character however he is unique to this play. His continual switch between talking to characters and audience means he himself must change the way in which he speaks. Mr Alfieri is a character which makes the play 'A View from the Bridge' very similar to that of a Greek tragedy.

  2. How does Alfieri help the audience to appreciate the action of the play?

    As chorus, Alfieri is key to distinguishing Eddie as a legendary figure because Alfieri gives Eddie epic proportions, "I looked into his eyes more than I listened-in fact, I hardly remember the conversation I will never forget how dark the room became when he looked at me; his eyes were like tunnels."

  1. How does Miller use the role of Alfieri to involve the audience and illustrate ...

    Both of these devices are used to involve the audience, the personal pronoun is addressing the audience making them think they are being spoken to directly. The rhetorical question as commented on before provokes in-depth thought, when both these devices are combined they add to the effect of audience involvement.

  2. An essay examining Alfieri's role in a

    and break the play down into small chunks so that audience has more time to take in what has just happened. The audience has more time to stop and think and create their own opinions about what has just happened in the previous scene.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work