Character Analysis- Alfieri
Alfieri is a lawyer who Eddie goes to in order find a way of getting rid of Rodolpho. Alfieri is the voice of the play, the commentator which is typical of a Greek tragedy. It is his view which forms the play. He is in the play in order to explain and narrate parts but also to convey the important lesson that he has learnt from this situation (Settling for half etc.)
Alfieri is the voice of reason in the play. He tries to make Eddie see sense and accept that Rodolpho has done nothing wrong and therefore nothing can be done about him. “Morally and legally you have no rights, you cannot stop it; she is a free agent” He tries to help Eddie let go of Catherine with the use of the law and also human morals.
Alfieri is a lawyer and therefore a symbol of order and justice. However he still doesn’t manage to save Eddie from his path to self-destruction. He is powerless which reflects in the title “A View from the Bridge”- he is watching the situation from above but is too far away to help or intervene.
Alfieri does try to help but even he himself knows it will bring no good: “as powerless as I, and watched it run its bloody course”.
Alfieri helps to convey Eddie’s change to the reader each time Eddie comes to see him. He notices that Eddie has “a trouble that will not go away” highlighting the beginning of his obsessive behaviour. He can’t stop thinking about it and can do nothing to stop it.
Another time Eddie comes Alfieri says that “his eyes were like tunnels” this creates a manic image of a man. Tunnels are dark and empty suggesting a darkness within Eddie now and a lack of humanity. This is followed by “my first thought was that he had committed a crime.” Alfieri sees that Eddie is capable of defying the law in the state he’s in. He knows that Eddie is completely focused on eliminating Rodolpho. It has completely taken over Eddie.
The message that Alfieri conveys in the play is very important. He states that “it is better to settle for half, it must be!” He is saying that we should dream and aspire to do things but we shouldn’t reach for something beyond our limits. It’s important to have goals but not if they end up harming others or even in Eddies case himself too. You shouldn’t break your morals to achieve your dreams.
Furthermore Alfieri says that “I mourn him [Eddie]-I admit- with a certain alarm” This suggests that he believes Eddie wasn’t all bad and he doesn’t feel for him. However he also has a sense of alarm as we are all humans and all have flaws and are all capable of doing something like this very easily.
Alfieri doesn’t appear to have any influence over anyone in the play except Marco who he convinces to promise that he won’t hurt Eddie. He speaks to Eddie a lot but cannot get through to him “powerless as I… bloody course”.
Alfieri also foreshadows a lot in the play. “You won’t have a friend in the world, Eddie! Even those who understand will turn against you, even the ones who feel the same will despise you.” This foreshadows how everyone will be towards Eddie after he’s called the immigration bureau.
“run it’s bloody course” foreshadows Eddie’s death which we knew would happen anyway as it is in the style of a Greek tragedy.