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'A View from the Bridge' is often described as a "Modern Greek Tragedy." Discuss the elements that Miller borrowed from Greek Tragedy

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Introduction

'A View from the Bridge' is often described as a "Modern Greek Tragedy." Discuss the elements that Miller borrowed from Greek Tragedy and how they are used to make the drama more effective. This play was based on a true story which Arthur Miller heard while working on the docks while living in a Brooklyn neighbourhood. A modern tragedy is created from a person's problems with either the law or the traditions for society being altered. These events cause a breakdown in the family tradition which normally leads to the death of the main character (Protagonist). "A View from the Bridge" is about an Italian man called Eddie Carbone, an American citizen initially from Sicily and is 40 years old. Eddie is the master of his household as he lays down the rules for both Beatrice Carbone (his wife) and Catherine (his niece). At the beginning of the play, we are given a prologue by the narrator Alfieri. Alfieri is the narrator as well as the neighbourhood lawyer and is looked highly up on as a lawyer. Eddie sees the law as a way to justify or rectify his feelings towards his niece Catherine, but as he soon finds out, law cannot justify the lust of one for his niece, "morally and legally you have no rights, you cannot stop it; she is a free agent." ...read more.

Middle

The audience sees Marco challenge Eddie to a chair- lifting contest to prove his manhood and authority, his body language tells Eddie not to touch his younger brother, who moments before got punched by Eddie. Miller makes the play more effective with the antagonist by putting him into the actual role play at the end of act 1. We are left wondering as to why Marco is there, what is his part in the drama. Unlike the Antagonist, the protagonist is introduced from the first scene, Eddie Carbone. At first we don't see him as the mean and vicious person he later turns out to be. From this we get an understanding as to what kind of 'hero' he is. During the course of the play Eddie becomes an evil 'hero'. Making the protagonist an evil person makes the play more effective. At no point does Eddie actually break the law, but instead breaks the rules of society. The society in which Eddie lives, (full of Italian immigrants) has made it a golden rule not to snitch, not to tell on anyone that may be doing something wrong in the governments eyes but not in theirs. Eddie makes this the first thing that Catherine and Beatrice have to know before the arrivals of the cousins. ...read more.

Conclusion

Miller has borrowed many elements from the Greek Tragedy; he has used the prologue to set the basis of the play, which gave a strong sense of fate from the beginning that something awful is going to come out of Eddie taking in the two cousins. Miller has used Eddie as the Protagonist and also an evil hero. The unity of time and place has been used through out the whole play to give the audience understanding; having things done within 24 hours was significant as to what happened the next day. To have many scenes in separate places may have confused the audience. Miller made the chorus more effective by using the narrator (Alfieri) as the voice behind the story, he expressed the traditional morals and the social attitudes that the audience relate to. The pathos has been used several times in this piece of drama, one example being, when Eddie reclaims his love for Beatrice. This was a tear-jerking scene in the drama, not just making the play dramatic but allowing the audience to feel pity and sorrow for Eddie. Miller borrowing such elements has made the play more effective. ?? ?? ?? ?? A View from the Bridge Samuel Iremiren ...read more.

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