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The Role of Alfieri.

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Introduction

The Role of Alfieri Alfieri is a middle-aged lawyer, who came 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: "We're only thought in connection with disasters, and they'd rather not get too close" Alfieri is both narrator and character in "A View From the Bridge". He enters at the beginning of most scenes. Alfieri's soliloquy in the first scene of the play is very important. He plays the role of the chorus in "A View From the Bridge", as he prepares the audience for what is about to happen. When he walks into the darkness, it is a symbol of the negativity and tragedy that is about to take place. He, like the chorus in "Romeo and Juliet" is informing the audience of the inevitable, and conveying a sense of danger. He explains the themes of the story. For instance, in Act 1 Scene 1, he says, "Now we settle for half and I like it better". It is this issue of compromise that is one of the main themes in "A View From the Bridge", and the consequences that ensue when characters refuse to "settle for half". Alfieri does not have only one role in this story. On one hand, he is an onlooker: he oversees what happens during every scene and is powerless to prevent the final outcome of the play, for he already knows what is going to take place. ...read more.

Middle

At this point, his downfall has begun. Alfieri tries his hardest to advise Eddie to "Let her go and bless her" but to no avail. He realises, towards the end of his encounter, that Eddie is going to call the immigration authorities and inform them of the two "submarines", Marco and Rodolpho, and speaks to him on a firm, then finally desperate tone, warning Eddie that if he does so, people will turn on him and more importantly, Catherine will hate him: "You won't have a friend in the world, Eddie! Even those who understand you will turn against you, even the ones who feel the same will despise you! Put it out of your mind! Eddie!" During these two meetings, the audience can clearly see the contrast between the characters of Eddie and Alfieri. 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. He is also very impulsive, for instance, when he draws a knife whilst fighting Marco in the last scene of the play. 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." ...read more.

Conclusion

He oversees the people and the action of 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." This informs the audience of the difference between the law in America and the law is Sicily. In Sicily, where Alfieri is from, there is a definite difference between the law and justice. In Italy, the law is for family; however in the US, it is for the government and the country. Sicilians believe that the punishment should fit the crime. Sometimes when they feel as though the law has not been sufficient, they take it into their own hands: "Oh, there were many here who were justly shot by unjust men". 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 something else. Alfieri also explains one of the most important themes of the play: timelessness, in that this story could have taken place at any time in history and its moral would still be the same. Alfieri is therefore the voice of Miller in "A View From the Bridge", who uses him to put his opinions and thoughts across to the audience. ...read more.

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