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What is Alfieri's function in 'A View from The Bridge'?

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Introduction

What is Alfieri's function in 'A View from The Bridge'? Arthur Miller was born to a Jewish family in New York in 1915. His grandparents had come from Poland to Brooklyn, in America, where A View from the Bridge is set. Between his years as a journalist and making his name as a writer, Miller worked in the Brooklyn shipyards for two years, where he befriended the Italians he worked alongside. He heard a story of some men coming over to work illegally and being betrayed. The story inspired A View from the Bridge, which was written in 1955. It was originally a one-act play, but Miller re-worked it into a two-act play the following year. Most of his work is set in America and deals with political and moral issues along with the idea of Greek tragedy. Miller uses the sense of inevitability and powerlessness that tragedy's have in Catherine, Rodolfo and Eddie's situation, in the way that shows Eddie trying his utmost best to part Catherine and Rodolfo, but the more he tries the more he fails and the closer the loved up couple becomes. The play opens with the lawyer Alfieri, who sets the scene. ...read more.

Middle

This was a big mistake as Marco had already been feeling some opposition to Eddie because of how he treated his brother and him calling immigration was the final straw. Here the audience feel powerless and helpless because they can't prove to Catherine that all Eddie wants is for her to have a decent life and have a decent husband. They cannot do anything to prevent the inevitable death Eddie has coming from happening. Because of Marco's accusations towards Eddie 'he killed my children...stole food away from my children' the community feel hesitant towards Eddie, his friends feel disgusted towards him and want to keep out of his way as they feel that he is a horrible man and that he could do the same to anyone of them. Furthermore there is a chorus who appears at various key moments to comment on the action and increase the sense of tension, in this play Alfieri is used in this role. I believe that this is very effective as he is not too involved in the situation but does however play a part in some of the key events, such as trying to convince Eddie that t there is nothing he can do and that all his efforts will turn catastrophic. ...read more.

Conclusion

Alfieri as a character and participator in action is very limited as he only appears three times. I believe that this is significant as it shows that he has a more important role as a chorus and narrator then as an actual participator. Without Alfieri the audience will be confused and not as motivated as they are with the chorus. He helps move the story along and explains the imperative and significant events in the play. Miller creates the difference between when he is a chorus and when he is a character because when he is a chorus he speaks in a more general way but when he is a character in he play he has a more professional role and prefers to not get too involved with the situations he is caught up in. Also when he acts as a participator he is mostly at his desk in his office talking to either Eddie or Marco and trying to solve their problems. In addition the lighting also differs as when he is a chorus as it is dimmed and not very bright on the other hand when he is a character it is more bright and usual. So overall he is the teller of an incredible story that he cannot change. ?? ?? ?? ?? Mariam Ezzat 10U English Coursework Modern Drama ...read more.

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