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A View from the Bridge - What is the role and presentation of Alfieri in act one.

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Introduction

What is the role and presentation of Alfieri in act one Alfieri's position in the play has been adapted form the ancient Greek plays in which the theatre, at first, had no actors and the numerous chorus figures told the whole story, which was usually a tragedy. He represents sanity, reason and compassion in modern plays. His role in the play is exactly what it was in the ancient Greek plays, to fill in time gaps, to narrate the story at particular intervals and watch from the sidelines while the story unravels. I think the title 'a view from the bridge,' is named after Alfieri's position in the play where he watches what is happening but sometimes has an appearance. The choric figure in Greek plays usually talked more standard English, and this is true in this play, where Alfieri is much more articulate than most of the characters. 'This is the gullet of New York swallowing the tonnage of the world.' He is one of the only people in the play to use similes to present his point. ...read more.

Middle

However, Miller puts the audience's mind in doubt when he dismisses that Alfieri can predict the future. 'Who can ever know what will be discovered,' Alfieri ponders, when talking about Eddie and his future. Alfieri is also used by Miller to indicate a significant event. He announces the arrival of Marco and Rodolfo. 'Towards ten o'clock of that night, after they had eaten, the cousins arrived.' As Alfieri's appearances in the play are few and always of importance, they know that the cousins arrival is something that will be pivotal in the play. Arthur Miller has used this characteristic in Alfieri to divide each act into unofficial scenes. In most of his speeches he develops the action, moving time forwards and setting the new time, place and situation. 'Now, as the weeks passed, there was a future, there was a trouble that would not go away.' I think that Miller made Alfieri's profession a lawyer for many different reasons. Lawyers are generally respected, and even more so in this time in America. ...read more.

Conclusion

The only time Eddie shows his feelings is when he's inside Alfieri's office, because he is too proud and ashamed to admit to Beatrice and Catherine, and even perhaps himself that he loves Catherine. Alfieri does have feelings for Eddie himself. He feels sorry for him, because he can see what is going to happen, and even goes to see a wise woman, who can only tell him to pray for Eddie. In conclusion, Miller uses Alfieri as a literary plot device. He drives the story on, separating one scene from another and informing the audience about time differences. He separates calm scenes from those of high tension and emotion and brings out the true feelings of Eddie for the audience to see. The audience listens to him because of his status as a respected lawyer and as a separation from the action in the play when everything, from the lighting to the stage directions, is focused on him. He is presented as a sombre character and is devoid of the kind of emotion that the other characters have, and therefore is separated from them as an onlooker with 'a view from the bridge.' ...read more.

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