The opening monologue from Alfieri.

Authors Avatar

I think that the opening monologue from Alfieri is very important so that the rest of the play goes well.
In this opening speech, Alfieri tells the audience key things they should know about the characters, in order to understand the play. But even before Alfieri starts speaking, Arthur Miller makes him do something very clever. He makes him create a relationship with the audience. I think that this is a very clever thing to do because this way, the audience will listen to Alfieri more, as they know about his past, and what he does, and they can feel like they know him, and that they too are part of the drama.
When Alfieri first comes on two pitchers nod to him, as he walks past them. He comes on from the side so the whole audience can see him walk on. This shows the audience that he is an important character in the drama. At this point, the audience do not know whether he is a character in the play or what role he is. So they wait for something to happen. Then he slowly walks to his desk and takes off his hat and runs his fingers through his hair. This shows the audience that he is relaxed. The audience can see that his character is in his fifties and fairly fat, and quite wealthy. He then turns to the audience and grins at them. This directly engages them, and they cannot pretend they have not seen him do this, so they look back at him. His first line is:

" You wouldn't have known it, but something amusing has just happened to me".

This shows that he is good-humoured and is not a grumpy man, and is relaxed, which helps the audience to relax. He then talks about why the two pitchers nodded at him "I often think that behind that suspicious little nod of theirs, lie three thousand years of distrust". This shows that in a way he feels apart from the community because he is a lawyer and "a lawyer means the law", but he does not feel like he is above them because he is wealthier. He then leads into the history of himself and who he is, and describes the past of the society, and the type of community they are living in where the drama is set.

Join now!

"But this is Red Hook, not Sicily".

When he is speaking, he is at the front of the stage, sitting behind a desk, with a spotlight on him. So the audiences' attention is only on him. Alfieri makes the audience feel more comfortable and even more relaxed, as he speaks to them in an informal chat. Alfieri sets the mood for the next scene when he speaks, and creates expectations.

" Catherine told me later that this was the first time they had been alone together in the house".

I believe that there are three different links concerning Alfieri, ...

This is a preview of the whole essay