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

‘Alfieri talks of being ‘powerless’ and says that Eddie was like ‘a dark figure walking down the hall towards the certain door.’ He also says ‘something perversely pure calls to me from his memory.’ In what sense is this

Extracts from this document...


'Alfieri talks of being 'powerless' and says that Eddie was like 'a dark figure walking down the hall towards the certain door.' He also says 'something perversely pure calls to me from his memory.' In what sense is this play a tragedy and what is your response to the tragic events of the play? 'Tragedy is to say a certain storie, As olde books maken us memorie, Of him that stood in great prosperitee And is yfallen out of high degree Into misery and endeth wretchedly.' Chaucer 'A View from the Bridge' by Arthur Miller is a play describing the affairs of the Brooklyn dockworkers of post war America. The play is as colourful as the lives of those it depicts: it contains aspects of love, hatred, passion, suffering, pain and despair (to name but a few) but what of tragedy? In order for a play to be a 'tragedy' it follows that it must have tragic elements to its plot... but what are these elements? Why are they considered tragic? And most importantly of all: In what from are they present in 'A View from the Bridge'? Answering this question requires that we obtain a sound definition of 'tragedy' in the classic sense, and for this task I refer throughout to Aristotle's 'Poetics'. ...read more.


Eddie had as much 'free choice' as is possible in that he was fully aware of the consequences of his actions, but one could argue that his choice was unfairly influenced by his abundant love and that in fact he had no choice at all. The answer lies in whether you believe the philosophers and physicists' opinion, that all our actions are the results of causes i.e. influences, or if you believe that the human mind is greater than the sum of its parts and that spontaneous creativity is possible. It would be naive of me to attempt to answer this question now, as there are whole schools of thought devoted to the subject, but I can hint at the probable solution. Eddie Carbone is killed by his own knife, suggesting that it was he who was to blame for his downfall, blame is futile without responsibility, and responsibility cannot exist where choice is absent. Assuming Eddie had a choice, this concurs with Aristotle's statement that 'the protagonist's demise must be his or her own fault, the result of free choice: irrespective of accidents, villainy, or some overriding malignant force'. It is necessary in tragedy for the protagonists to incriminate themselves, knowingly, in order that they are made to suffer for their crimes without leaving the audience with a sense of great injustice. ...read more.


is a lesson in restraint, that compromise is better than the traditional Sicilian extremes. The final response of the audience is meant to mirror that of Alfieri. When Alfieri says that 'something perversely pure calls to me from his memory' and that he 'mourns him with a certain... alarm' what is implied is that Eddie's purity lies in his truth, he exposed his feelings and was not conceited, and for this he mourns his passage. The cause for alarm is the result of this purity... it suggests that purity in the human soul leads to dilapidation, that the human soul is not inherently good, but rather, bad... and raises the tragic fear, that this could have been him, if only he were 'purer'. 'A View from the Bridge' is a tragedy in the sense that it has tragic aspects to its plot, as outlined over the past few pages. In this play Arthur Miller has taken old principles and masterfully adapted them to 21st century life, in the process creating an entertaining tale full of intrigue that fascinates the mind and stirs the soul. In writing a modern tragedy that deviates so minutely from the ancient ideology Miller forces us to realise the greatest tragedy of all, that (however much we may pretend otherwise) the human soul and it's vices are eternal, a fact that no amount of 'settling for half' can ever change. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Arthur Miller essays

  1. "Most of the time now we settle for half and I like it better."

    even a man of law believes in both types of law and that everyone deserves justice. If the "community code of conduct" is broken it is suggested that it is worse than if you actually betray the legal system.

  2. ‘A view from the Bridge’ and ‘A Son’s Veto’.

    It will ruin me! A miserable bore! A churl! A clown! It will degrade me in the eyes of all the gentleman of England!' Because Sophy didn't have her son's blessing she could not leave. He had control of all the finances that her late husband left to them to live on.

  1. Take one of the characters in the play ‘A VIEW FROM A BRIDGE’, describe ...

    He changes conversation straight after as before. They start to talk about the day gone by whilst eating their meal. After the meal Eddie asks Catherine when she starts her new job. Catherine knows Eddie is uncomfortable with talking about this. Eddie shows a tear in his eye.

  2. How does Miller create expectations of disaster in his audience in his play ‘A ...

    may become clear to the audience that Eddie's attitude will eventually destroy his and Catherine's relationship. Eddie and Beatrice tell Catherine about a boy who 'snitched' on his own uncle to immigration, Eddie is outraged by this, and lectures Catherine beforehand how she is never to do such a thing.

  1. "Eddie Carbone is the classic tragic protagonist whose downfall evokes the audience's sympathy". To ...

    Actually, what Eddie wants ultimately is his name as he told Marco to give him back his 'name'. As Eddie has excessive pride, he wants to get rid of Rodolfo and in the end, is isolated by the Italian Community.

  2. Analysing an Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestly.

    He knows that in his society, betrayal is injustice; the story of Vinny Bolzano is a good illustration of this, when he 'snitched ... on his own uncle!' the idea of family honour was betrayed so Vinny Bolzano went away and was never seen again.

  1. Examine how modern protagonists are caught in a classical, tragic tale of revenge and ...

    He is a reliable source of unbiased information and it is clear that we can trust him. At this point in the story, Eddie is introduced into the script. Alfieri introduces him, describing him as, 'A longshoreman working on the docks from Brooklyn Bridge to the breakwater where the open sea begins.'

  2. Extended Study on ‘A View From The Bridge – Arthur Miller’

    o Catherine, otherwise referred to as Katie, is a young adult of 17. She realizes the need for her to act like she's a lady and to find her own life, take charge and do what she wants to do.

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