Alfieri has an interesting role in “A View from the Bridge” which was written in 1955 by Arthur Miller. He is a character who participates in the action of the play, and comments on past or subsequent events. Alfieri can be compared to a God like observer who is watching over the action taking place but cannot intervene with fate and destiny. Through his many appearances in the play, Alfieri has the further structural device of providing changes, dramatically increasing or decreasing tension or simply commenting on the action.
Arthur Miller, the author of the play was greatly influenced by Greek Tragedy in terms of both the construction of the play and the choric role of Alfieri. Several hundred years ago, the Greeks produced the early stages of theatre. This theatre, at first had no actors but consisted of numerous chorus figures who told the whole story, which was often a tragedy. However, later in the 6th century B. C, Thespis introduced the actor.Order now
The chorus figure was still in plays often commenting on the action taking place, representing the voice of sanity, reason and compassion. Miller originally wanted to have one continuous Act, with increasing and decreasing tension as opposed to a final climax. Through Alfieri’s eight appearances, Miller not only creates fluctuating tension but breaks the two acts into significant scenes. Alfieri begins his opening speech with introducing himself as a lawyer. The community in the play respect him and view him as the predominant and authoritative figure.
It is partly due to this reason that the audience listen to Alfieri, the other reason being that his character is of some interest and the audience can connect with his position; watching over the action but being unable to alter it. We are also told that that Sicilian community living in Redhook quite despise the idea of the American law and this why many people find living amongst lawyers in Redhook, an area of crime and violence, rather intimidating. ‘You see how uneasily they look at me?
That is because I’m a lawyer. In this neighbourhood to meet a lawyer or a priest on the street is unlucky. ‘ We then told about his arrival to Redhook ‘I only came here when I was twenty-five,’ but learn that he was born in Italy. This is significant because it means that Alfieri can understand Eddie and Marco’s idea of justice, the justice of the vendetta. In terms of structure, he sets the scene for the play and introduces an element of violence through the infamous story of Al Capone.
‘In those days Al Capone, the greatest of the Carthaginian of all, was learning his trade on these pavements, and Frankie Yale himself was cut precisely in half by a machine gun. ‘ Alfieri emphasizes the importance of justice in Redhook and explains that the people do not follow the law, but use the justice of the vendetta. Meaning that if someone does harm to your family you cause harm to theirs. Sayings such as ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,’ which originate from the Bible promotes this idea of justice.