A View from the Bridge

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Literature Coursework-Modern Drama
What is the dramatic function of Alfieri’s character in ‘A View from the Bridge’?

‘A View from the Bridge’ is a play written by Arthur Miller. Miller’s inspiration for this play is close to his heart. He grew up in New York City; his parents were illegal immigrants into the United States looking for work. Alfieri is a key component, not only is he a character he is also a narrator. He acts as a chorus to the play and an aid to the audience. Alfieri plays many small roles to combine and create a depth and understanding to the play such as the connection to the title of the play, how he is utilises time-switches and the effectiveness of them, how he behaves as a chorus of the Greek tragedies and how he …show more content…

He takes on a dual role of the lawyer and commentator. He alerts Eddie that he ‘won’t have a friend in the world’ if he keeps pushing the boundaries, he already knows Eddie’s tragedy is inevitable and builds a sense of foreshadowing. Miller has three purposes in this scene for Alfieri: to reveal the acceptance of Eddie’s feelings towards Catherine, to convey how it might affect Beatrice and to be the voice of reasoning. He bluntly tells Eddie that there is no positive way out. When Eddie implies he may have feelings for Catherine Alfieri is already aware and implies that this will be his fatal flaw. ‘he never realises it, but though the years-there is too much love for the daughter, there is too much love for the niece’. This explicitly tells Eddie to let the feelings go, Alfieri is conscious about the fact Eddie does have strong feelings towards Catherine and he is also a perceptive character which Eddie is not, but Alfieri is alert that this will be Eddie’s downfall. During Eddie’s confession time he confides his fear that Rodolpho is homosexual and is pretending to love Catherine as an opportunity to obtain a green card. Eddie says ‘He’s stealing from me!’ and ‘it’s breakin’ my heart’. This really allows the audience to feel the intensity of the frustration Eddie feels. The scenes have now created a cathartic effect because the tension has been released now that Eddie’s feelings are in the open from the audience’s

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