A View from the Bridge


A View from the Brige
How is it evident from the beginning of the play that it will end in tragedy?

A tragedy within a play script is drama with an unhappy ending but not necessarily death. Without any reference to the play, a tragedy can be a sad event, calamity, serious accident or crime. A View from the Bridge is a tragedy because Eddie has both a serious accident and commits a crime of betrayal. Through certain aspects of the play, it?s setting and the background; the idea of a tragic ending becomes increasingly evident.

The first aspect of the play to be seen is the setting, both on stage and in society. The stage contains only a few props vital to the plot of the play. They create the impression of attempting of avoiding confrontations with the law with the presence of Alfieri's office and a fire escape. There is also a phone box, which hints towards a tragic event from the arrival of illegal immigrants.

The play is set in an American society when the immigration law has recently changed. The set portrays the life of most Italian immigrants with temporary or seasonal jobs and little money. The homes are simple tenement buildings with sparse amounts of furniture inside. With the "American Dream" not being lived by these legal citizens the idea of isolation between Italian cultures and the US is evident. The majority of people going to the theatre would be Middle class and well paid so watching a play about poorer Italians creates tension and suggests an unhappy outcome.

The play begins with Alfieri's first speech setting the scene and introducing us to the plot. Despite saying very little about the story itself, he stresses the importance of justice in the community suggesting a betrayal against this Sicilian ?law?. When describing the setting he gives examples of crimes previously committed, resulting in death, but not directly relating it to the story he narrates. We can see that all he says is relevant to the play, immediately knowing it is likely to end in tragedy. The following line is taken from Alfieri's first speech:

"I am a lawyer. In this neighbourhood to meet a lawyer or a priest on the street is unlucky. We're only connected with disasters and they'd rather not get too close."

Alfieri, by saying he is connected with disasters, creates the scene for the play being a tragedy on only the 6th line. He mentions that to meet him on the street is unlucky, which is where he is standing. Later on he says that he is inclined to notice the ruins in things suggesting that the reason for the play ending the way it does is because there is something more deeply underlying wrong that only he notices - another clue to the characters' fate.

Perhaps the most significant line, though, in his speech is:

"?Powerless as I, and watched it run it's bloody course."

Until now, we have not known what kind of tragedy the play will be but this line gives us only one answer. Although it still isn't said, Alfieri's words so show us that justice is something very important to the Sicilians and when somebody, especially family, goes against this justice, Death is probably the result. Several lines at the beginning show the Sicilian ?rules? and way of life:

"The less you trust, the less you be sorry"
"I don?t care what the question is. You - don?t ? know ? nothin?.?"

He also says he is powerless as if the character's destiny is already mapped out and is a path they must inevitably take. This idea continues throughout his other lines during the play. An example of where Eddie Carbone's destiny seems inevitable could be:

"I remember him now as he walked through my doorway - His eyes were like tunnels"

After Alfieri's introduction to the play the first person we see is Eddie. The reader may also associate him with Alfieri's previous description of the "bloody course" which is to follow and connect him with the tragedy. Throughout his lines, Alfieri fixates only on Eddie. We know already that Alfieri is narrating a tragedy from what he has just portrayed of the plot but this is something that tells us who is at the centre and cause of