Alfieri: Who can ever know what will be discovered? Eddie Carbone had never expected to have a destiny. A man works, raises his family, there was a future, there was a trouble that would not go away. In what ways does ‘A View from the Bridge’ refer to the tradition of Greek Drama? In what ways can Eddie be seen as a tragic hero? The play ‘A View from the Bridge’ is about Eddie Carbone and his family. He lives in his house with his wife and his neice, then Marco and Rudolfo come over from italy to work.
Marco and Rudolfo are cousins of Eddies wife, Beatrice, but when his neice Catherine falls in love with the younger cousin, Rudolfo, Eddie finds it hard to handle. ‘A View from the Bridge’ was originally written entirely as a Greek Drama in verse by Arthur Miller but as he drew his play to an end, to him it didn’t seem right. By 1955 when it was first published it had been re-writen into regular dialogue form but it still carried some attributes as a traditional Greek Drama.
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The plays first similarity to the old greek plays is that of a continuous single plot, as most books now-a-days carry many sub-plots. Another way it resembles the Greek Drama is that the finish has its share of blood, as the ancient greeks accepted violence. This play has a great feel of fate, and it seems that the characters cannot help what is going to happen to them, when Alfieri says near the beggining of the play “This one’s name was Eddie Carbone”, thiswhich is very similar to a greek drama.
‘A Veiw from the Bridge’ only follows Eddie’s tale, but Eddie’s life revolves around his family, so they play a big part. The families play a big part in ‘Oedipus Rex’ by Sophecles part of ‘The Theban Plays’ and ‘Agammemnon’ by Aechylus, part of ‘The Orestia’ which are two big greek plays but tere is also a great difference between these two plays, in ancient greek times the royals were the subjects of almost every play but in these ‘modern’ times you are equally or more likely to hear about poor families, like Eddies, people have grown over time and can relate poor to this kind of character.
The final difference was that in Greek dramas, there was usually a chorus. This was a group of people who would inform the audience on the happenings in the play. Similar to a narrator, except a lot of people and not just one person. As Miller based his play on Greek dramas, he used this idea of a chorus. However, Miller twisted the ‘rules’ of a chorus, by only having an individual to play the part. His name is Alfieri.
Not only is Alfieri a chorus, but he is also a character involved in the drama. He is very different from the other characters in the play. This is because he is a lawyer, and “a lawyer means the law” this makes him very respected. Alfieri worked with Eddie’s father when Eddie was young and is now a close family friend. The whole play is a series of Alfieri’s flash-backs, and he provides a running commentary like the ancient chorus did, but as this is his tale of what has already happened, he cannot change the future.
There are also a few ways that Alfieri isn’t like a chorus. Unlike tradition, he has a part in the play and ia allowed to interact with the other characters, as well as having the privillage of a name, which the ancient chorus didn’t. Also, Alfieri is one person, the Ancient greeks used many. Through out the play you see Eddie as a man whos life is dedicated to his family, he has worked for them and raised his neice and getting her and education, if Eddie lost his family, he wouldn’t have much left. Eddie is a tragic character, he feels he has been done wrong and is killed at the end of the play, but is he a hero? In one sense of the word he is, he is the main character in the play, the protagonist, but is he brave, noble, strong or diginfied like we think of our heros?