"A view from the bridge".

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"A view from the bridge" is a play scripted by Arthur Miller in 1955. The play is based in a city called Brooklyn which is situated in the state of New York. A view from the bridge is presented to the audience by a prominent character called Alfieri. Alfieri is the most significant character in the play because he is known as a good lawyer, a good friend to Eddie Carbone (a longshoreman) and surprisingly he is also the narrator. Alfieri is obviously the most significant character in the play.

Alfieri as a character is known as a well respected lawyer and a close friend to Eddie. Throughout all the play Alfieri is helping Eddie with all his problems.

"I know it Mr Alfieri, the guy ain't right".

Alfieri does not only help Eddie, he also helps his niece, Catherine. Catherine has strangely fallen in love with an immigrant from Sicily called Rodolpho and has promised to marry him in the near future. She speaks to Alfieri about Eddie's disapproval of the wedding and how he doesn't like Rodolpho. Without letting the audience know, Alfieri is showing himself as an educated and intelligent man by staying neutral and not taking sides in all the situations he had come across.

Another one of Alfieri's roles in the play is a narrator. A narrator is an important role in any play, and to be a character and a narrator is very distinct. Throughout all of the play he introduces the scenes with a small speech or a prediction. The most significant speeches Alfieri makes are the first and last. The first speech is about life in Brooklyn and what the world has come to.

"In this neighbourhood to meet a lawyer or a priest on the streets is unlucky."

This quote actually shows the audience the difference between classes and how everyone is different in their own way.

Undoubtedly he introduces himself with an informative description.

"I am a lawyer…………I was born in Italy."

Alfieri is specifically giving information to the audience, however the last three sentences are the most significant as they introduce one of the main characters, "Eddie". Alfieri uses this specific name because it relates to what he was saying about "cases and compensation".

By the end of the speech, the audience know that the events they are awaiting will be "bloody" in its conclusion, as Alfieri himself said "watched it run its bloody course".

This specific phrase shows that Alfieri is predicting the play, this indicates his importance in the play as a narrator.

Alfieri's last speech is highly influential as he explains to the audience about "settling for half" and how Eddie couldn't do this.

Alfieri also expresses his feelings towards Eddie by trying to make the audience feel sorry for him.

"his useless death"

This speech is not only expressing Alfieri's feelings but it is drawing the audience back into the play and helping them understand the situation from Eddie's point of view.

Alfieri is known to be powerful, intelligent and educated, these properties are known to be manly. Eddie is able to respect Alfieri because of this, however his obsession and unnatural with Catherine is something he is unable to control, and instead he focuses his anger on the very feminine Rodolpho. Rodolpho is discriminated by Eddie because of his feminine qualities, such as, sewing, singing, and baking cakes. Eddie continues to tell him this throughout the play. Still, Eddie did agree to shelter him when he had come from Sicily as an immigrant. Eddie is unable accept this and instead he finds it repulsive and can not give Catherine and Rodolpho their wedding blessings.

"if you wasn't an orphan, wouldn't he ask your fathers permission before he run around you like this."

This leads to the issue of compromising, something Eddie couldn't do, despite Alfieri's efforts of indicating the importance of compromise.

Eddie could not come to an understanding and continued with his scheme to break up Catherine and Rodolpho and stop the wedding. Compromising is important in all situations, mostly in a family crisis. This is when you should make a deal or come to some sort of understanding with the other person, whoever he may be, in this case, Eddie and Catherine. .

Alfieri helps the audience understand the play as they read through line by line. He gives brief descriptions of what has and should have happened in certain parts of the play. He even begins to make predictions to what is going to happen. Alfieri is dramatically significant in such a way that the audience begin to use him as a guide and take advantage of him.

Alfieri is undeniably the most significant character in a view from the bridge.


Discuss the various ways in which Arthur Miller uses Alfieri as a dramatic device in ‘A View from the Bridge.’

Arthur Miller uses Alfieri to fill in the readers on the details of the play. I think Miller's use of Alfieri as a dramatic device is effective, suitable and skilfully contemplated. He utilizes Alfieri's character to the full, using this one character to interact with the other characters and the readers. Alfieri is presented to the reader as a relaxed, educated personality, who recognizes the value of regulations and law as well as the importance of ΄omerta΄ (the code of conduct/silence between the Italian American societies).

Alfieri pays close attention to what is going on in the play, but has no influence on what occurs. At the closing stages of Act 1, Alfieri is being consulted by Eddie as to how he should act upon his idea that Rodolpho is gay and courting his niece. Alfieri knows Rodolpho is an immigrant, but pays very little interest to this trait (regardless of him being a lawyer). He also understands that for Eddie to be rid of Rodolpho, he would have to inform the police of his illegal entry into America. This would mean breaking the system of ΄omerta΄, and Alfieri strongly advises against this proceed. This scene reveals Alfieri as a character in the play, but still honours him as a narrator. It proves him not only to be abiding by the law, but also by ΄omerta.΄ He is shown as quite a fondly affiliated figure. His view is respected, and taken into account by Eddie.

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Alfieri is a fundamental device in the play. He helps the reader to appreciate the complicated scenarios in the play. He analyses the more complex parts of the play and is used, almost as Miller's personal device to get a message to the reader. Being affiliated with both state justice and vigilante law makes him an unbiased character, and as a consequence, creates a significant, sincere and reliable character for the readers to use as their ΄window΄ to the events in the play.

Alfieri is a man of morals. Again, referring to the end of Act 1, Alfieri knows it is ...

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