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

Comment on the importance of Alfieri in Miller's 'A view from the bridge'

Extracts from this document...


Comment on the importance of Alfieri in Miller's 'A view from the bridge' In this play which Arthur Miller wrote in 1955 in New York, he delves into the struggles of the everyday man against authority and McCarthyism which was a big issue when this was written. He also looks into the Italian community and their own codes of honour. This drama is a modern tragedy; because the main character is a normal man who suffers many misfortunes. This play has many similarities with Miller's own life such as; his relatives migrated from Europe to America, he also spent time working on the docks and made some good friends with people like Rodolpho and Marco and became involved in their tales. Alfieri is a key character in the play; he acts as a retrospective narrator and a bridge between the Italian community in Brooklyn and the US law. His other main part in the play ,as a character, is to give Eddie advice on what he should do about the tricky situations he gets into. Alfieri introduces the play by setting the scene and getting the reader involved. He establishes himself as a man of knowledge 'because I [he] am a lawyer'; other factors that make him appear clever are his mentions of 'Caesar', 'Calabria' and 'Syracuse' in his first appearance. ...read more.


For instance, before the beginning of the next scene on page 65, Eddie is having an argument with Rodolpho for getting to close to Catherine. He is threatening to tell the US government about his 'submarine' status (because he came into the country below the law). Alfieri builds the tension between them by describing Eddie's eyes as 'tunnels' (this is a repeated motif as it is also used at the very beginning of the play) and 'how dark the room became'. In this section Alfieri speaks with the voice of the American law; he tells Eddie that there is nothing he can legally do a bout it with these words 'morally and legally you have no rights, you cannot stop it; she is a free agent'. He also advises Eddie not to use his Italian codes, because he knows it will get him into trouble with the American law; Alfieri says 'you can't stop it' to try and warn Eddie. He also tries to warn Eddie by using the image of the river which will' drown you [Eddie] if you buck now', this image relates to the title which heightens its importance; also as we know the two of them are in Alfieri's office which looks over the Brooklyn bridge and the river that rushes beneath it, making it even clearer to Eddie. ...read more.


This is why Marco marks a vendetta against Eddie, after he finds out that he had told immigration, he tells Alfieri of this and relates that 'in my country he would be dead by now'; which shows just how significant this betrayal is and how important it is to gain justice to Italians. Miller through Alfieri raises two very important issues in the play and in New York at the time; the major difference between Italian law and the conventional US law and the central quote 'better to settle for half' in the electrify last scene. However, as you think a lawyer would, Alfieri does not come up with a solution, but he does make the audience think about what they think themselves and he wants them to realise that there is not a clear cut answer. We can often compare Alfieri and Miller because they both were trying to fight for higher status in American society. They felt as if they were perceived as less of an American because of their immigrant background. Alfieri's two functions in this play as a retrospective narrator and as a character make him an integral part of the play. This is undeniable evidence that Alfieri is a very important character in this modern tragedy written by Arthur Miller ...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. Discussing the importance of dramatic tension within A View from the Bridge

    like a dark figure walking down a hall towards a certain door." Although Alfieri is telling the story in flashbacks, here he shows that even before the forthcoming events he knew what was going to happen, even though he doesn't reveal what this is.

  2. A View From the Bridge - The whole of this play involves symbolism, on ...

    "Eddie breaks into a smile, but it almost seems that tears will form in his eyes" Eddie is proud of her and how she has grown up, it fills him up with emotion. There is also a sense that he feels guilty that he is making her fell angry by

  1. Discuss the dramatic importance of Alfieri in the play "A View from the Bridge" ...

    In his previous plays such as "The Crucible", Arthur Miller found that the audience and many critics, failed to understand the subliminal plot he was trying to depict. Therefore, his decision to include Alfieri, effectively gives the audience a deeper understanding of the play.

  2. How does Arthur Miller use the character of Alfieri in A View from the ...

    The uphill struggle is representative of Eddie struggling against Rodolfo and Catherine's relationship. The fact that the ramps run upstage, shows that Eddie was well respect at the beginning of the play and his popularity has degenerated, as the ramps are running away from importance, being at the front of the stage.

  1. What is the importance of Justice in a “View from the Bridge?”

    Eddie tries to tell Alfieri that he is only looking out for his niece but also, so that she doesnt go away with a man who "aint right." Alfieri tries to be sympathetic in his answers but eventually tells him: " There is nothing you can do Eddie, believe me."

  2. How Does Miller Use Alfieri in 'A View From the Bridge'?

    only his interest in it but also that the issues involved are universal. This is known as an eternal drama. This, once more, links with the Greek tragedies, the idea of which were to allow its audiences to gain messages or morals from.

  1. Arthur Miller intended ’The View from the Bridge’ to be a Modern Greek tragedy

    might support Rodolfo because it is a bad idea to live in Italy at this time. She has no other option but to tell him the honest truth about how she is feeling. "Catherine ~ I'm afraid of Eddie here" Now she has admitted to herself, not only to Rodolfo that she is afraid of Eddie.

  2. Analyse the dramatic importance of the end of Act One of "A View From ...

    When Eddie talks about oranges and lemons he seems annoyed that Rodolfo said something to him. Eddie says (to Marco), "I heard that they paint the oranges to make them look orange... yeah I heard they grow like green." Rodolfo says, "Lemons are green."

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