The play A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller is a short play with nine main characters. One of these nine characters is Alfieri. He is the first character that the audience meets. Alfieri is a lawyer to whom Eddie Carbone goes to for advice in the middle of the play. Alfieri also plays a part role as a narrator. He is the character that starts and ends the play and gives the audience background detail as well as inside hints at what he thinks will happen.
Alfieri’s opening speech is a very long and detailed prologue with a lot of information for the audience. Some may say that it gets a bit boring as it is a lot to take in and in that sense Arthur Miller has taken a bit ofa gamble choosing to start his play off with something like that. It is an introductory speech that introduces the play to the audience and finishes it. Through this opening speech we learn a lot and it is a very thorough and informative piece of dialogue. One thing that we learn is that the events that are approaching ill be bloody and tragic in their conclusions.
Alfieri hints at the story and this is one of the tactics of keeping the audience interested. “sat there as powerless as l, and watched it run its bloody course. ” This last sentence in his speech while he is alone to the audience tells us what is to come and gets us ready for what is about to unfold in this play. To start Offa play with a speech like Alfieri’s, leaving the audience with this sentence creates an atmosphere right at the start of the play and it makes the audience want to find out hat he is trying to prepare them for.
Alfieri also gives some background to the play and some history to the setting. He gives part of a Sicilian background which gives us a broader view and some background information of the setting. ” .. in Sicily, form where their fathers came, the law has not been a friendly idea since the Greeks were beaten. ” In most of the speech Alfieri is talking about what people thought of lawyers and how they were looked upon. A lawyer is a bad omen to them, something that is thought and seen negatively, unlucky to the neighbourhood. This tells us that the community is very superstitious. I am a lawyer. In this neighbourhood to meet a lawyer or a priest is unlucky. ” the idea of law. “.. the law has not been a friendly idea. ” Alfieri gives his own personal history and uses this as an opportunity to introduce himself to the audience. He is also the one who introduces Eddie Carbone to the audience. This is where his narrator role comes in. Arthur Miller has given Alfieri a very important and creative character played like this as a double role. “l am a lawyer. ” “l was born in Italy. I only came here when I was twenty five. ”
Eddie Carbone, a longshoreman working the docks from Brooklyn Bridge. ” In his dialogue, Alfieri also gives a bit of the New York background with small details such as the specific setting he mentions. Although it seems like a long speech, in this prologue there is a large amount of information lying beneath it which emerges from it, and with all this information it is quite short in comparison. In it he also mentions history form way back in the Roman times, Caesar’s years which was almost 2000 years ago. But this is Red Hook,” “since the Greeks were beaten… “.. that in some Caesar’s year… ” He is saying in this speech that in those times till now law is frowned upon but things have changed since then. People have become more civilised now and that is why things have settled down.
There is compromise now. Alfieri then goes on to say that one thing that hasn’t changed since 2000 years ago, even though law is seen badly, that there will always be a Job for a lawyer. “now we settle for half, and I like it better. ” “… every few years there is still a case,” l no longer keep a pistol in my filing cabinet. “… Justice is very important here. ” Alfieri’s opening prologue is very important. In it he plays a commentator, getting the audience ready for the intensity of the plays meaning, hinting at what’s going to background. He poses questions to the audience in his own way and explains and provides evidence on a number of things. He also comments on different things and gives a lot of information in this play and gives his opinion on them. He plays a very important part and provides the backbone to the play.