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English Coursework on Miller

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Introduction

English Coursework - First question. Alfieri's speech at the beginning begins by introducing a lot of concepts which are explored upon later in the play. He begins with a speech on lawyers and the distrust that originates from it, "You see how uneasily they nod to me? That's because I am a lawyer... a lawyer means the law, and in Sicily ... the law has not been a friendly idea". We can see later in the play that both Eddie and Marcus turn to the law for help, but the law lets them down, "You mean to tell me that there's no law that a guy which he ain't right can go to work and marry a girl and - ?". These two parts of the play link to show us that the law will often clash with loyalty, and when something interferes with loyalty, one often has to turn to the law for help; however, the law may often deal with the problems too severely. We can see this by the drastic action that Eddie has to take to remove Rodolpho from the scene. However, the idea of justice is introduced. It is possible to deduce that the law governing Italy is not the law that is written as we can see from what Alfieri says about justice - "Justice is very important here" and what Marco says about the law, "All the law is not in a book", later in the play. ...read more.

Middle

[Eddie is pleased and therefore shy about it...]" near the beginning of the play. Miller maybe exploring the effects of such "forbidden" love, as it were, on a marriage. We can see the effects on Beatrice, "When am I gonna be a wife again, Eddie?" - as Eddie fights his possible love for Catherine within him. Eddie tries his best to suppress his other feelings until he has to warp the past in order to cope with his relations with Beatrice by putting the blame on her, "I want my respect, Beatrice ... what I feel like doin' in the bed and what I don't feel like doin'." This suggests that Eddie does not want this unwanted love for Catherine as he attempts to change history to cover it up and put it behind him. Beatrice reacts differently however in her discussion with Catherine, "If it was a prince came here for you it would be no different." This suggests she is fighting against Eddie to get Catherine out of the house so that her relationship with Eddie can return to normal. Along with Catherine's love for Rodolpho, this can show that love for another person can overcome a strong attachment with another and break bonds to allow the love to flourish, in this case, Beatrice is severing the ties between Catherine and her home. ...read more.

Conclusion

Beatrice poses the question in her mind, "Look, honey, you wanna get married, or don't you wanna get married?" of whether she should break the bonds and be free, or stay with Eddie and never become a woman. At this point, Catherine is unable to decide "I don't know B." and these quotes show us that she has not broken away the ties between herself and Eddie. However later on, her love for Rodolpho and to live her own life overcome her love for Eddie, "He's a rat! He belongs in the sewer!". This suggests that throughout the play we have seen Catherine become a woman from being a child, and Miller might be telling us, through the dramatic changes in her affections, that becoming a woman from a child is a traumatic experience for many. From this Miller has introduced most of the main ideas in the rest of the play from the scene at the beginning. Because they have been set in motion from the beginning, and are carried through right to the end, we get more of the idea of inevitability and tragedy within the play. What is more, because they reach fruition right at the end, they remind us of a cyclic pattern in which we are reminded of the beginning of the play. This suggests to the audience that the whole event was futile as it will do nothing to help such situations in the future. ...read more.

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