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

A View from the Bridge - Alfieri's role as the symbolic bridge between the two cultures and his commentary on life for Italian immigrants is very important in 'A View from the Bridge'.

Extracts from this document...


Year 10 English Coursework- Diverse Cultures A View from the Bridge Alfieri's role as the symbolic bridge between the two cultures and his commentary on life for Italian immigrants is very important in 'A View from the Bridge'. Discuss the ways in which Arthur Miller uses the character of Alfieri to highlight cultural differences and to develop the audiences understanding of character, theme and plot. 'A View from the Bridge' is a deep and complex play to which Alfieri is central to. Arthur Miller created the character of Alfieri purposefully, as well as other things to keep it moving smoothly and this is where Alfieri as the Greek chorus comes into play. By using a Greek Chorus Miller can inform the audience of the plot that is not displayed by the characters and add an extra dimension to the play by hinting of things to come. However Alfieri is not only the Chorus. He has been cleverly slotted into the play allowing him to interact with characters and bring their feelings and emotions to the audience's attention by breaking down the 4th wall between audience members and characters. Alfieri as a character is a lawyer: - wealthy, educated and law-abiding. On the surface seeming completely detached from the main characters and their increasingly complicated plight. That is until you find that he too came over from Italy and understands the culture and way of life they associate with, besides the hardships they have faced in their lifetime thus making the distinction between the American way of life he is currently living, and the Italian way of his past temporarily blurred. Alfieri as the Greek Chorus is a key part of the play and Miller uses him to fill in blanks in ...read more.


He is further, trusted by the audience because of his status and the element of trust also, which being a lawyer brings that make his words more believable as the actual truth, than that which may come from the other characters. The actual predestined situation of a Greek tragedy is something A. Miller planned to correspond with the events that he planned for the play. Miller makes the audience think about the extent to which humans are able to control events by enforcing the structure of tragedy where doom and death are predetermined and the characters in the situation have no control over the outcome, for one example, "This one's name was Eddie Carbone". Miller has used this line to show the universal sense the play is written in. This is supported in a quote from Arthur Miller where he says; "The common man is as apt a subject for tragedy in its highest sense as Kings were". The fact that it could be anyone in the role of the protagonist enforces the idea that it is destiny in control of the character's fates and that they are not the ones in control. Therefore, if this is true whatever happens death will foreshadow their every move and as it gets ever closer so does the climax; thus increasing the excitement, and in the end showing that fate is all powerful as even the competent and intelligent Alfieri is unable to prevent the tragedy that is to become of them. Arthur Miller has chosen Alfieri deliberately as an intelligent man for many reasons. Firstly the articulate language and correct grammar he has picked up whilst being educated sets him apart from the other characters, "His eyes were like tunnels". ...read more.


He brings Alfieri into the play as the view from the bridge. The view being one that he could see and wanted the American public at the time to see, also. There are subtle and subconscious similarities between Alfieri and Miller and I think he used the viewpoint of Alfieri to indirectly express his own. For example, the dilemma Miller faces in creating the play is as such: to leave the play at a point where he is not yet an established playwright and has the great possibility of incurring negative feedback from the American public for tarnishing the 'American Dream' and uncovering a problem they wanted to be left as just that, or to produce the play and try and fix a problem that is obvious to him because of his past and ignore the risk of ruining the career at the thought of helping people, who in his mind, where just as important as the people he was putting the play to. The dilemma Alfieri faces is in whether to try and help Eddie not just as a lawyer but also as a friend. On one hand he can ignore the situation he knows is happening (such as Miller could have done) and keep the reputation he has worked all his life to obtain or he can try to interrupt, talk to Eddie and persuade him from what he knows will happen at the risk of scarring his reputation but helping a friend. Of course in the end he does not succeed in the path he chooses because fate interrupts however both Alfieri and Miller chose the moral path to go down and through showing this through such a man as Alfieri, Miller is setting the example for the American people to do the same. ...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. Discuss the Role of Alfieri in the play A View From the Bridge by ...

    In those 100 years, more than four million Italians went over to live there, hoping to leave behind the poverty and bad times from where they had previously lived, which in most cases was the South of Italy and Sicily.

  2. Justice and the Law in A View from the Bridge

    In Alfieri's prologue to the play, he discusses the implications of justice in the Red Hook area of Brooklyn. 'Justice is very important here.' (page 12). It seems as though Miller, through the voice of Alfieri, is saying that justice is as important and controlling as the law in this

  1. The Contrasting of America and Italy in 'A View from the Bridge'.

    Italian Americans felt about 'Stool Pigeons1' and what they think about their immigrant brethren. Once, the Immigrants Marco and Rodolfo, come into the text, it gives you an immediate impression of the way they were living back in Sicily at the time, ' this will be the first house I ever walked into in America!

  2. What is Alfieri's Role in 'A View from the Bridge'?

    This becomes apparent when we see Alfieri talk to Marco when he is being held in prison. Alfieri: To promise not to kill is not dishonourable. Marco: No? Alfieri: No. Marco: Then what is done with such a man? Alfieri: Nothing. If he obeys the law, he lives. That's all.

  1. How does Miller explore the character of Eddie Carbone in 'A View From the ...

    The play explores many different issues. It shows the Allegiance to community law. There is great conflict between community and American law in the play. The community abides by Sicilian-American customs values respect and family, has strong associations with names, believes in trust and wants revenge when a member has been wronged.

  2. In what ways is 'A view from the bridge' like a Greek tragedy?

    both, but he warms quickly to Marco, a man's man and superficially like Eddie. Also when Marco "raises a hand to hush" Rodolpho we read that Eddie "is coming more and more to address Marco only." He is made uneasy by the talkative young man with his unusual blonde hair.

  1. How does Miller use Alfieri to inspire Sympathy forEddie?

    The final words in any play are significant as they always leave the audience remembering the play or thinking about what would happen after. Alfieri's final words are no different. Alfieri delivers his final speech, after tragic events. Firstly, Eddie has informed on Marco and Rodolpho, which has caused his

  2. Compare and contrast the personalities, behaviour and attitudes of the two brothers in A ...

    Rodolfo gains the respect of the other characters via completely different means. As a character Rodolfo is young spirited, he is a dreamer who likes to sing and make everyone laugh, and it is his good spirited nature that people (excluding Eddie)

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