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The Role of Alfieri

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Introduction

The Role of Alfieri Alfieri is a middle-aged lawyer, not very enthralled by his job "my practice is entirely unromantic" who emigrated to America as a young man seeking "The American dream": freedom and wealth. He is very well respected in his neighbourhood, however people do keep their distance from him, as they tend to associate the law with disasters: "A lawyer means the law and in Sicily the law has not been a friendly idea since the Greeks were beaten." Alfieri is associated with the Carbone family as he tells us, "I was aquatinted with the family in a casual way...I had represented his father in an accident case some years before." This shows the audience the involvement Alfieri has within the Carbone family and their issues. He also keeps a social and professional distance between Alfieri and the people around him, "We're only thought in connection with disasters, and they'd rather not get too close." Alfieri uses language to mediate between the audience and the characters. Towards the audience he uses very elegant, refined and sophisticated language, which isolates him, in contrast to when he takes up his role in the affaires of the play, he speaks with plain, simple colloquial language ...read more.

Middle

Alfieri is a very open, down to earth and well respected person whereas Eddie is a private and very proud person who, throughout the play and even at his death, never admits his feelings for Catherine. He is very overprotective of her and is also a shy and stubborn man. Eddie is also very passionate towards Catherine and towards the things that he believes in. On the other hand, Alfieri is a very practical and wise person. His attitude towards Eddie changes throughout the play: as it progresses, he becomes more and more impatient with Eddie: "I heard what you told me and I'm telling you what the answer is." This is a perfect example of where Alfieri loses his temper, and he begins to feel frustrated with Eddie because he will not listen to reason; Eddie still thinks that Rodolpho is using Catherine and goes far enough to imply that he is gay: "I'm tellin' you I know-he ain't right." As Eddie is an impulsive man it may seem like an implication of his future actions. It may also possibly be a cause of his death. ...read more.

Conclusion

He is also the bridge between the Italian and American cultures as he considers himself to be American but not having forgotten his Sicilian roots. This allows him to mediate between the play and the audience conveying an unbiased and clear view of what is happening in the story and builds up tension within the play. He represents the division between law and justice, and discusses this in detail in Act 1, Scene 1: "A lawyer means the law, and in Sicily, where their fathers came from, the law has not been a friendly idea since the Greeks were beaten." Alfieri gives us the moral of the play, in that it is better to settle for half than to try and have it all. By doing so, he makes the audience aware of the need for compromise in life and that it is better to sacrifice one thing for another. This emphasises the main issue of Eddie and how he was selfish, ignorant and such virtues must end in evil consequences. Alfieri also explains one of the most important themes of the play: timelessness, in that this story could have taken place at any time including any other characters in history and its moral would still be the same. ...read more.

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