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A view from the bridge - Opening to Page 15 - close analysis with reference to how themes and ideas are introduced.

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Introduction

a) Opening to Page 15 - close analysis with reference to how themes and ideas are introduced (750 words) When Arthur Miller first wrote "A View from the Bridge" in 1955 he wrote it as a one act play written in the style of a Greek melodrama. Later, in 1956, he wrote the full length version we know today in modern style. The theme of the Greek tragedy is continued however including historical facts used by Alfieri to demonstrate the history of violence and tragedy behind every Italian American. Alfieri opens the play and speaks directly to the audience rather than at them. This gives the audience a sense of intimacy though like Alfieri they will have no influence on the play itself. Alfieri's role in the play is to oversee the action and relate it to the audience and by the end of the play he is the only character that seems to have any sympathy for Eddie even though he has been described by critic Shay Daly as not a "full flesh and blood character". ...read more.

Middle

Rome hardly existed and Carthage, competing for the rule of Sicily, would punish those who broke the rules of war, such as the tyrant Agathocles of Syracuse who was famed for his cruelty and who, unprovoked, attacked his unsuspecting neighbours. Al Capone has become a kind of hero for the average Italian American upholding the Sicilian family ethos. Another key theme in the play is that of the relationship between Eddie and Catherine which from the very start of the play is lively intimate and flirtatious. Eddie greets Catherine first when he comes home imparting the feeling that she is more important to him than Beatrice. Eddie's masculinity is outlined in this scene, he is very much a manly man who finds it difficult to come to terms with his emotional side and shows this by ordering Beatrice and Catherine around while he imparts news and drinks beer in his chair. ...read more.

Conclusion

Compromise defeats violence and those who won't compromise will be left behind; it is failure to compromise which is the eventual downfall of Eddie because he won't change. This is not Eddie's fault, his character is usually described as forceful, obsessive, warm, protective, irrational, and self-interested. Alfieri suggests that Eddie's type held back the civilisation of Red Hook, and as sympathetic as he is towards Eddie now he is dead and they "are quite civilised, quite American." Like Stanley in "A Streetcar named Desire", Eddie is little more than an uneducated and driven man but he has become obsolete next to a man like Rodolpho who Eddie criticises: "he cooks, he sings, he could make dresses" and the new working woman like Catherine. Every theme and idea in this play is sowed by Alfieri, Catherine and Beatrice in the first five pages to be later expanded upon throughout-which is why these first few pages are so vital to the play. ...read more.

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