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Discuss the role of Alfieri in the play "A View From The Bridge".

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Introduction

Discuss the role of Alfieri in the play "A View From The Bridge This play was written by Arthur Miller in 1955, originally a one act play in verse. It was then revised and extended to a two act play in 1956. This revised edition was not in verse. It was then presented to the comedy theatre at London. It was originally written in the late 1940's when Miller became interested in the lives of the dockworkers. This aspect of their lives was shown in the play. Miller's parents were immigrants so his background is the same. He also used to work on the docks so he knew what the living conditions were and how the dockworkers worked. One of the reasons he wrote the play was that a lawyer friend of his, which may have been the basis of Alfieri's character, told him a story of a longshoreman who had ratted to the immigration bureau on his own relatives in order to stop an engagement between one of them and his niece. This was the entire basis of "A View From The Bridge" as it was the full story of the play. Eddie was the uncle who ratted to save his niece or so he thought. Rodolfo and Marco were the two cousins and Catherine was the niece. ...read more.

Middle

I find this interesting because it is linking to a theme that has been used throughout time. Another theme that Arthur Miller uses Alfieri to portray, it that of repetition. In the introductory scene, Alfieri refers to the repetition of events throughout history when he says, "Another lawyer, quite differently dressed, heard the same complaint." Alfieri also repeats himself throughout the play, reinforcing this theme. In both his main scenes as a Lawyer he says how, "His eyes were like tunnels," referring to Eddie. In most of Alfieri's scenes he develops the action, moving time forwards and setting the new time, place and situation, as he does in both of the next two scenes. In the first of the two scenes, the audience feel again like they know what is going to happen, especially when Alfieri says, "He was as good a man as he had to be." This also starts another repetition, as it is said again in the concluding scene. In the second of these two scenes, Alfieri hints at what is to come in an abstract way. The cousins have arrived and the story of Vinnie Bolzano has been told, when Alfieri starts his next speech with, "Who can ever know what will be discovered?" He ends it with, "There was a trouble that would not go away." ...read more.

Conclusion

Alfieri realises that Eddie is a desperate man. So desperate, he'll do anything. In the 1st lawyer scene Alfieri told Eddie that the only recourse in the law he had was the way in which the cousins entered the country. It is at this point that Eddie realises it is the only way he can stop the marriage. Alfieri knows that Eddie loves Catherine in a way he shouldn't, but Eddie won't admit it. He thinks that Rodolpho must be in the wrong, because all the other alternatives are too painful for him. It is at this point in the play that the phone box starts to glow. In the past, the phone box has represented the outside world. It is introduced slowly, with Alfieri trying to stop Eddie between each stage direction to make it brighter. The rate at which it is shown to the audience gives them time to think about what it could mean. By the time they've worked it out, Eddie is walking out of the office for the last time, and the phone box is the only lit item on stage. In the penultimate scene, Alfieri is in the police cell after Eddie has gone to the police. Alfieri tells Marco not to harm Eddie. I think this is because Alfieri likes Eddie, as he says in the conclusion, "I think I will love him more than all my sensible clients." Calum Roberts ...read more.

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