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Q. At the end of the play Alfieri says of Eddie that despite "how wrong he was... I think I will love him more than all my sensible clients". To what extent does Arthur Miller make you agree with Alfieri?

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Introduction

Throughout the play, Miller attempts to make the audience agree with Alfieri by carefully crafting him as an all-knowing, educated and experienced lawyer, which leads us into thinking that he should be trusted and believed. At the end of the play, Alfieri tells us that despite the wrongful things that Eddie did, he still finds him admirable because of his primitive passion which he did not allow the civilised community to mould. Although Miller succeeded to a certain extent in making me trust Alfieri, I believe that he was misguided. By thrusting forward the raw emotions which Alfieri found so admirable, Eddie had in fact betrayed his family as well as the Sicilian code of honour. Therefore, I disagree with Alfieri, and feel that Eddie should not be loved and sympathised more than the ones who learn to compromise. By portraying him as a civilized lawyer and giving him an omniscient role as both a character and narrator in the play, Miller provides Alfieri with credits of trustworthiness. He created Alfieri as a "lawyer", and by choosing this profession out of all the other possible choices, he characterises Alfieri as the symbol of American legal justice. ...read more.

Middle

We can see that Alfieri is a respected figure who understands Eddies, as well as the Italian code of justice and honour. By using Alfieri - the character that he created to be trustworthy - as a way to guide our reactions to the drama that unfolds, Miller tries to make us agree with him and feel empathy for Eddie despite the wrongful things that he did. However, his attempts to distinguish Eddie as a legendary figure are not as convincing as his attempts to describe Alfieri as a dependable character. On page 48, Alfieri describes his conversation with Eddie; yet he says that he "hardly remember[s] the conversation" because he was too transfixed by Eddie's eyes, which he illustrates to be "like tunnels". He mentions that he "will never forget how dark the room became when... [Eddie] ...looked at" him, and these show how Miller tired to give Eddie epic proportions. Miller's aim here is to try to convince us that Eddie is the hero of the tragedy, and that we should empathise with him. I felt that Miller was trying to make Eddie seem like a more legendary character than he actually was, and that Eddie is in fact not worthy of grand tragedy. ...read more.

Conclusion

I feel that it is ironic how Alfieri finds this admirable although he should be disapproving of those who are disloyal to the code of honour of the country he himself comes from. Alfieri must know how disloyal it is to betray the code of honour and the family, as these are considered to be very important in Italy. Although Miller succeeded to a certain extent in making the audiences believe that Alfieri was a wise man, I think that Alfieri was misguided in his empathy for Eddie. The primitive desires that are expressed by Eddie do not make him admirable. In fact, I feel that he should have learnt to compromise, and that being moulded by the community may have been the right decision in this case. The sensible clients who learn to live as cilivised Americans are, in my opinion, more admirable than one who betrayed the code of honour just to suit his selfish desires. ?? ?? ?? ?? Q. At the end of the play Alfieri says of Eddie that despite "how wrong he was... I think I will love him more than all my sensible clients". To what extent does Arthur Miller make you agree with Alfieri? ...read more.

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