Examine Alfieris Role Within The Play What

Examine Alfieri?s Role Within The Play. What Functions Does He Perform? Essay, Research Paper Many hundreds of years ago, the ancient Greeks produced the

Examine Alfieri?s Role Within The Play. What Functions Does He Perform? Essay, Research Paper

Many hundreds of years ago, the ancient Greeks produced the

first theatre. This theatre, at first, had no actors, and the numerous chorus

figures told the whole story, which was usually a tragedy. Later, in the 6th

century B.C., Thespis introduced the actor. The chorus figure was still in

plays ? he now commented on the action, divided it into scenes and linked these

scenes together by covering any action that the audience didn?t see during a

time gap. He represents sanity, reason and compassion in modern plays. The

choric figure usually talks more standard English, and this is true in this

play, where Alfieri is much more articulate than most of the characters. Arthur Miller has used this characteristic in Alfieri to

divide each act into unofficial scenes, and inform the audience on any missed

action. As David Thacker, a Director said, Alfieri is the ?mechanism by which

the play unfolds.? A View From The Bridge involves the audience and their

emotions. Arthur Miller has used various methods to keep these emotions

controlled. He has used calm scenes between those of high tension and emotion,

but the main method is the chorus figure. The audience listen to Alfieri, for

many reasons. They respect his opinion because he is a Lawyer, but they also

like his character and can connect with his position in the play. I believe that the chorus character in this play has the

?View From A Bridge,? and is looking over the play. I think he has so much

pressure from being told all the other characters? secrets that he needs to

talk to someone. I think this is why he talks to the audience. He comments on the action in a previous scene and gives

hints as to the action in the next, ?He worked on the piers when there was

work?, ?After they had eaten, the cousins came.?? In doing this, he exercises a key role of the chorus character ?

they can comment but not intervene,? ?I

could have finished the whole story that afternoon.? This also gives the audience the feeling that Alfieri is

simply re-telling the story, because he speaks in the past tense, except when

he?s talking to another actor in the play. Alfirei?s character is as a Lawyer.

The community in the play respect Alfieri, and view him as the authoritative

figure in the play. As Alfieri reminds us in his introductory speech, Lawyers

are only thought of in connection with disasters. I think that Arthur Miller

meant for the play to be a Greek tragedy. The ancient theme is brought up in

the introductory scene, ?In some Caesar?s year, in Calabria perhaps or on the

cliff at Syracuse?? I find this interesting because it is linking to a theme

that has been used throughout time. Another theme that Arthur Miller uses Alfieri to portray, it

that of repetition. In the introductory scene, Alfieri refers to the repetition

of events throughout history when he says, ?Another lawyer, quite differently

dressed, heard the same complaint.? Alfieri also repeats himself throughout the

play, reinforcing this theme. In both his main scenes as a Lawyer he says how,

?His eyes were like tunnels,? referring to Eddie. In most of Alfieri?s scenes he develops the action, moving

time forwards and setting the new time, place and situation, as he does in both

of the next two scenes. In the first of the two scenes, the audience feel again

like they know what is going to happen, especially when Alfieri says, ?He was

as good a man as he had to be.? This also starts another repetition, as it is

said again in the concluding scene. In the second of these two scenes, Alfieri hints at what is

to come in an abstract way. The cousins have arrived and the story of Vinnie

Bolzano has been told, when Alfieri starts his next soliloquy with, ?Who can

ever know what will be discovered?? He ends it with, ?There was a trouble that

would not go away.? This is reinforcing the idea that the chorus character can

comment but not intervene with the action. I think Arthur Miller put Alfieri

into the play as a Lawyer because as a Lawyer he can talk to the characters and

give them advice. Without Alfieri in the play, the audience wouldn?t be able to

find out what the characters were thinking. This is especially true for Eddie,

who is not very articulate, ?But I?m telling? you, you?re walkin?wavy.?? Whilst in the Lawyers office, Alfieri

reveals what Eddie is thinking to the audience. After a Lawyer scene, the

audience knows why Eddie believes he is doing what he is, and they may even

sympathize with him. The only time Eddie shows his feelings is when he?s inside

Alfieri?s office. It is during the first scene in Alfieri?s office where the

main themes of the play come to light.?

Love, and morality, and the way they combine. As a chorus character he knows what is going to happen, but

even so he tries to stop it, ?She can?t marry you, can she?? He also sees

Eddie?s feelings, and tries to relate them to the audience, ?There is too much

love for the niece? The scene after this is where Eddie challenges the

masculinity of Rodolpho. Without the Lawyer scene the audience wouldn?t have

known why exactly Eddie was challenging Rodolpho. After watching the Lawyer

scene, the subtext becomes much clearer to the audience. At the start of act 2, Alfieri has a short speech setting

the time, place and situation. It is nearly Christmas, and the theme of

Christmas is strongly linked with the events of the play ? after the next

lawyer scene, B is taking down the Christmas decorations. I think this

represents the removal of everything Christmassy ? the festive spirit where

everyone is happy. The audience are now certain that Alfieri is re-telling the

story, when he says ?Catherine told me later.? He also says that Eddie was

drunk during the next scene, ?A case of Scotch whisky slipped from a net while

being unloaded,? Which may explain his actions. The next scene is the last scene where Alfieri is seen in

his office with Eddie. It is just after the 3 kisses scene, and helps to calm

the tension. Again, the audience can see what Eddie is feeling with the help of

Alfieri, but this time Alfieri stresses that there is more than the law written

on paper, ?When the law is wrong, it?s because it?s unnatural, but in this case

it is natural.? He tries to dissuade Eddie from what he knows will happen.

Alfieri knows about both moral law and of that in the book. He controls which

one he uses. He does this again in a later scene, where he is trying to tell

Marco that the only law is that in a book, and that he would be breaking that

law if he harmed Eddie. I think the phone box on stage is interesting. It is there

from the start of the play, but it is only lit after the 2nd lawyer

scene. Alfieri realises that Eddie is a desperate man. So desperate, he?ll do

anything. In the 1st lawyer scene Alfieri told Eddie that the only

recourse in the law he had was the way in which the cousins entered the

country. It is at this point that Eddie realises it is the only way he can stop

the marriage. Alfieri knows that Eddie loves Catherine in a way he shouldn?t,

but Eddie won?t admit it. He thinks that Rodolpho must be in the wrong, because

all the other alternatives are too painful for him. It is at this point in the

play that the phone box starts to glow. In the past, the phone box has

represented the outside world. It is introduced slowly, with Alfieri trying to

dissuade Eddie between each stage direction to make it brighter. The rate at

which it is shown to the audience give them time to think about what it could

mean. By the time they?ve worked it out, Eddie is walking out of the office for

the last time, and the phone box is the only lit item on stage. In the penultimate scene, Alfieri is in the police cell

after Eddie has gone to the police. Alfieri tells Marco not to harm Eddie. I

think this is because Alfieri likes Eddie, as he says in the conclusion, ?I

think I will love him more than all my sensible clients.? After Eddie?s death, Alfieri is lit up so that the audience

focus on him, and gives a final soliloquy, which calms the audience down after

another scene of high tension. This is like a eulogy, as it looks back over

Eddie?s life. A eulogy is usually a series of memories from a persons life,

rather like the play is a series of flashbacks. In the end, the conclusion is

inevitable, and ends in tragedy.

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