Arthur Miller shows several aspects of Greek tragedy in A View From The Bridge

Arthur Miller shows several aspects of Greek tragedy in A View From The Bridge. Tragedies usually will make the audience feel a sense of sympathy. Miller’s intentions were for others to question the way the plot was going to happen and he wanted it to be suspenseful. This was noticeable by the way he structures his plays. He uses the characters’ conversations and actions to send a message to the audience. By doing this, he introduces the characters and the scene in the beginning by using a chorus named Alfieri.

In the beginning of the play, Alfieri started speaking about himself. He mentioned things such as him being a lawyer. This already shows that he has community power within the community of Red Hook although the community thinks that “meeting a lawyer is unlucky”. As Alfieri is a lawyer, he is critical to Eddie’s actions. In his speech, he has mentioned about the law in Sicily. This quote mentions the themes in the play: justice and the law. It foreshadows the catastrophe that was anticipated during the play dealing with Eddie and the two immigrants: Marco and Rodolpho. He is the voice to stop Eddie from doing what is bad for him. Miller uses Alfieri benefit Eddie by giving him options that are open to him, and by doing this it develops tension for the audience, since the audience thinks that Eddie will not support Catherine and Rodolpho’s relationship considering the option that is left for him is one that will inescapably lead to humiliation and disaster. Throughout the play, Alfieri has given comments on what Eddie has to do. For example, he advised Eddie should let Catherine make her own decisions. In addition to this, he bailed Marco and Rodolpho out of jail by promising they could not hurt Eddie in any way. He has always been the wise character in this play. Alfieri having power to the law and the community makes people trust him. Instead of having a group of men dancing and singing as the chorus just like other Greek tragedies, Miller simply just replaced them with just one man – Alfieri.

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A usual tragedy starts off with the protagonist having a hamartia. There are two crucial hamartias that Eddie has in which lead to his death. Eddie’s first hamartia is concerning the feelings he has towards his niece. This was because he had a niece which he finds appealing. He does not want to admit it nor does he want to think about it because it is morally wrong. He was very protective of her which seemed quite unusual because she is his wife’s niece. Although he is supposed to be a parent to Catherine, he acts opposing to it. He has sacrificed a lot for Catherine. He “took out of his own mouth to give to her” and this shows that he has worked hard as a longshoreman to feed his family and to provide for them. At first he wasn’t being too understanding about Catherine’s new job, but then he realized how much it meant to her so he finally allowed her to take the job. Eddie has always been protective about Catherine from what she wears to the people she associates herself with. After Alfieri’s starter in the beginning of Act 1, the play already started off with Catherine waving to Louis and Eddie being malicious about it. This was foreshadowing what was going to happen throughout the play, which is all about Eddie protecting Catherine and leading him to his downfall. Shortly after, Catherine asked Eddie if he liked what she was wearing and by the way Eddie responded by saying “Beautiful. Turn around, lemme see in the back” shows that he is complimenting her in a sexual way. She was “givin’ him the willies” by the way she walked down the street proved more sexual power Catherine had towards Eddie.

Not only did Eddie have one tragic flaw, he had another significant one. This tragic flaw was what mostly lead to his death. Ever since Marco and Rodolpho arrived at his home, he has always been disregarding Rodolpho. He acknowledged only Marco by shaking his hand, taking Marco’s bag and only talking to Marco about his life instead of Rodolpho. His hatred towards Rodolpho became clearer after he sang “Paper Doll”, a song about a doll that other fellows cannot steal. Eddie showed his protective side even more after realizing the lyrics of the song. At the end of Act I, Eddie wanted to “teach” Rodolpho how to box.

Eddie’s fate has been sealed since the beginning of the story because of him being a protagonist.

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