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Consider the importance of Italian loyalty in the play 'A view from the bridge' by Arthur Miller.

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Introduction

Consider the importance of Italian loyalty in the play 'A view from the bridge' by Arthur Miller. Daniel Bishop In the play 'A View From The Bridge' Arthur Miller constantly conveys the extreme moral importance of loyalty towards others, be it strangers or close family in a closely linked Italian-American community in 1950's Brooklyn. Eddie Carbone values and honours these unwritten laws as much as anyone else, but despite warnings, his own desperation and selfishness slowly leads him to reject these values and therefore suffer the harsh Italian justice of the people that once stood by him. Alfieri's opening speech gives us a brief insight into the ways of this Italian community. He describes how people are still very Italian, keeping to superstitions when he says, "I often think that behind that superstitious little nod of theirs lie three thousand years of distrust"; this also shows how long they can hold a grudge, being very honourable. He also mentions how people are more than willing to take the law into their own hands, due to honour and vengeance when he states, "Oh, there were many here who where justly shot by unjust men. Justice is very important here." This shows that people are just like babies, if they don't get what the want they get upset and go and shoot someone and how happy they are to take the law into their own hands. ...read more.

Middle

There isn't much contact between Marco and Beatrice and Catherine, but he obviously loves his brother. Marco loves his family so much that the whole reason he has come to America, "the land of opportunities" to earn money for his extremely poor family, this shows the importance of family. Marco is extremely grateful and doesn't want to offend Eddie, he even tells his brother to be quiet quite harshly so as not to offend him, there is a profound show of loyalty throughout this scene, Eddie has taken in these two strangers at great risk without question or want of reward purely out of loyalty to Beatrice and her family. At the end of Act One we see the growing tension caused by Catherine and Rodolpho's relationship boil over slightly. Eddie has become hostile out of jealousy and openly questions Rodolpho's sexuality, Eddie has given the hint to the audience that he will be responsible, or at least partly for the catastrophic end of the play. Marco acts cool and doesn't notice (or ignores) the tension until the boxing incident which everyone thinks went a bit far, but the tension is lowered but coffee and conversation, yet, out of loyalty to his brother, Marco still feels the need to subliminally challenge Eddie with the chair incident, giving a warning that he has the power to stop Eddie should this go any further and that if it comes to choosing sides he will defend his brothers honour. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is all to much for Marco, and because this would result in sending him home he will not be able to provide for his family and in theory Eddie has killed his family, Marco spits on Eddie in the street, this shows that Eddie has committed a horrible act against the community. Catherine now hates Eddie, understandably, she even says; "He's a rat!" this must affect Eddie greatly because he did it so he could be closer to her. What is very odd is that Beatrice is still loyal to Eddie, as she will not go to the wedding under his command, this doesn't necessarily mean she still loves him but is possibly still upholding her wedding vows and the loyalty of being a wife. Marco however wants blood, he is eager to reclaim justice and take the law into his own hands as Alfieri described at the beginning. This, coupled with Eddie's demand for respect inevitably leads to the confrontation, neither have anything to loose and through Eddie's death his soul is purified and justice is done in the eyes of the community. Alfieri's closing speech describes how no one wants what they can't have without risk, unlike Eddie and everyone is better off this way. This play has tested the extremes of Italian loyalty and how important it is otherwise you simply don't fit in, also how severe the punishments are. Through Eddie the community and the audience become more aware of these things and are reminded why they live by their rules. ...read more.

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