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Is the tragedy of A View from the Bridge inevitable?

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Introduction

Is the tragedy of "A View from the Bridge" inevitable? At the beginning of the play, Alfieri tells us about another lawyer, two thousand years before, who "heard the same complaint and sat there as powerless as I, and watched it run its bloody course." His speech signals the inevitable end of the drama: the tragedy of Eddie's unavoidable death. Even though he tells us that now "we settle for half" we see that Eddie is incapable of this sort of compromised and that, therefore, his death, and the tragedy of the play, is entirely inevitable. Alfieri tells us that the tragedy is inevitable. The audience is largely guided by him as a chorus-like figure. However, the dramatic inevitability is apparent from the start and the story of Vinny Bolzano and the public telephone which is lit up throughout the action. For Alfieri, the inevitability of the tragedy resides in its being outside of the law. ...read more.

Middle

and Rodolpho the "heebie-jeebies". Indeed, trying to put his finger on his problems with Rodolpho he can say only: "The guy ain't right" and "He's like a weird" where the strangely modern register and the substitution of an adjective for a noun express his confusion and lack of ability to express himself. Language is a problem for Eddie, and if the Law is only a "word", as Alfieri tells us, Eddie is always going to be inevitably distanced from it. Alfieri tells us that "Eddie Carbone had never expected to have a destiny". Indeed, he presents him as "as good a man as he had to be in a life that was hard and even". But the arrival of the brothers, Marco and Rodolpho is the catalyst which speeds up the reaction which Alfieri is "powerless" to stop and which is inevitable from the outset. Eddie's destiny is apparent from the start of the play in his refusal to tell himself the truth; indeed, Catherine tells him: "I mean it, Eddie, sometimes I don't understand you". ...read more.

Conclusion

Catherine also refuses to learn, failing to heed Beatrice's advice: "you can't act the way you act". And when the full horror of the tragedy unfolds, Catherine is left cursing and despairing: "He bites people when they sleep. He comes when nobody's lookin' and poisons decent people." The venomous metaphor is a sharp reminder of their complete failure to compromise; and this failure is inevitable, unlike Alfieri, they are unable to "settle for half". At the end of the play, Alfieri tells us that Eddie: "allowed himself to be wholly known" and he mourns him "with a certain alarm." The alarm is a sign of danger. And the world is dangerous because of the inevitability of tragedy. "Two thousand years of distrust" have not changed the world: the fate of certain human beings will always be unavoidable. No matter how much Alfieri may convince us that "it is better to settle for half, it must be!" this is a play where, like Alfieri, the audience is force to sit and watch it run its inevitable "bloody course". ...read more.

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