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

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

Extracts from this document...


Discuss the role of Alfieri in Arthur Miller's 'A View From The Bridge' In Miller's 'A View From The Bridge', Alfieri holds a vital role. He opens and closes the play, distinguishes between the two acts and in general keeps the audience up to date with the play's swift pace, providing us with an inside understanding of the events which take place. What is interesting about Alfieri's role is that he acts not only as a chorus for the play, but that he also partakes in the proceedings as a character within the performance. There are clear biographical links between the playwright, Arthur Miller's life and 'A View From The Bridge.' Miller himself was the son of immigrants living in New York in 1915. For two years during the 1940s Miller worked in the shipyards of Brooklyn with other Italians, experiencing first-hand the poor pay and exploitation of workers, as well as gaining an inside knowledge of the illegal immigration scheme running. He heard many of the longshoremen's real-life stories, a number of which became inspiration for many of his plays - including 'A View From The Bridge'. In Miller's autobiography 'Time Bends', he narrates the dream a friend of his had about an attraction he felt for his cousin; yet refused to accept there was any truth in Miller's interpretation that the man may have wanted an incestuous relationship with his cousin. ...read more.


He knows what their values are and what is and is not tolerated. What separates him from the other Sicilians in Brooklyn is his knowledge of the American law system. With knowledge of both the different law systems, Alfieri has a great understanding of the situations and circumstances which arise in the area he lives. This image of Alfieri as an objective and intelligent, almost superior member of the community seems to refer to the play's title. It is possible to see the metaphor of the 'Bridge' as a direct reference to Alfieri who acts as an observer as both his character and in his role as the chorus, he watches the events unfold, knowing all along how it will end, yet he remains powerless to prevent any of it. This notion of Alfieri as omniscient ties in with the idea of being high up on the Brooklyn Bridge, looking down and observing all the proceedings yet being unable to act in any way to stop the tragedy which will result. The use of Alfieri within the play relates to the title metaphorically in other ways too. In addition to being all-knowing and wise, the connection between Alfieri as a lawyer of American Law and his awareness of the Sicilian code of honour could depict Alfieri as the bridge himself, a link between the Sicilian world of justice and honour and the American world of law and order. ...read more.


Alfieri subtly tries to warn Eddie that he does not "think" it would be a wise idea to do "anything" about it though. It is also within this monologue that Alfieri hints at the inevitability of the tragedy to come, that there is no "mystery" about it, it is bound to happen and he is helpless to "stop it". In conclusion, there is no doubt that Alfieri holds a vital role within the play. He is the key to maintaining the audience's understanding of the drama and ensuring that we are aware of the changing dynamics and situations which evolve throughout the performance. He helps to develop our awareness of what the effect of these events are. It is clear also that Miller has used Alfieri quite intentionally as a way through which to express some of his views, his main ambition being to prove to people that the death of a low-born character is equally as tragic as the death of a high-born one. He clearly accomplishes this in 'A View From The Bridge'. Alfieri is not only used to enhance the audience's understanding of the play but also to create a structure, distinguishing between the two acts. Effectively Alfieri is the view from the bridge; he sits and watches the events unfold, watching helplessly as Eddie walks closer and closer to the other side, knowing what the tragic outcome will be, yet remaining powerless to prevent it. ...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. Conflict in 'A View from the Bridge'

    However, Eddie does not approve of much and always mentions other men when giving a reason or his disapproval.

  2. Why does Miller include the characters Alfieri in

    At the beginning of act 2 he mentions a case of Scotch whisky slipping " from a net while being unloaded." This shows how well Alfieri understands the Italian longshoreworker's mentality. Alfieri speaks to Eddie as a friend, "Let her go and bless her."

  1. Explore The Role Of Alfieri And Discuss His Dramatic Significance In The Play.

    He is suggesting that Eddie will face fate later in the play, '...and watched it run its blood course...' This is letting the audience know that someone in the play will die, and by using juxtaposition, Alfieri is hinting that the person who will die, will be Eddie.

  2. What is the importance of Alfieri in The View from a Bridge?

    His characters judgement is not clouded in any way. He is looking down from the bridge and he can see what is going to happen but, due to being on this bridge, cannot get involved. Miller uses Alfieri to demonstrate a key role of the chorus character which is that they can comment but not intervene with events.

  1. A View from the Bridge - Mr. Alfieri's role.

    This also brings us back to Alfieri's introduction speech as he speaks of the infamous Mafia and Gangsters of New York. Alfieri once again shows his new confound love of America with his words. He counters Marco with the statement "The law is only in a book, there is no

  2. There is too little to admire in Eddie Carbone for him to be seen ...

    Eddie is an Italian-American in which both countries have different systems of law. Eddie's conflict with American jurisdiction and the idea that there are no laws to support his problem stem from his Italian morals and attitudes. The Italians possess more of an honour code firmed upon the ideas of

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

    His selfish desire is again emphasised by his disapproval of Catherine's dress code, claiming that she is "...walking wavy". His disgust for her wearing high heels or short skirts is due to the fact that it symbolises and advertises her adult sexuality and consequently he fears the possibility that another

  2. Is it fair to say that Beatrice is a tragic victim in A View ...

    this quotation shows that Beatrice is loving and caring towards Eddie. Furthermore, we are able to see that this is her biggest downfall. Her love and affection for her husband is something that contributes and leads her towards being a tragic victim.

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