Does anyone
know what
bridge this
Unit Objectives
 At the end of this unit, you will be able to:
 Respond to text critically, sensitively and in detail,
selecting appropriate ways to convey your response,
using textual evidence where appropriate.
 Explore how language, structure and forms contribute
to the meaning of texts.
 Explore relationships and comparisons between texts,
selecting and evaluating relevant material.
 Relate texts to your social, cultural and historical
contexts and literary traditions.
Greek Tragedy
 Does anyone know what a Greek tragedy entails?
Tragic Hero
Greek tragedies often contain a
prologue, where an individual
character gives background
information to the audience, which
allows them to understand the
context of the upcoming drama.
In ancient tragedies, the main
character (the protagonist) usually
has a tragic flaw (hamartia), which
often brings about their own
downfall. Their downfall often
brings the audience to feel pity or
fear. Often, the actions of a tragic
hero affects their whole community.
Keep these ideas in mind
whilst reading the play
Information about the play
 Written by Arthur Miller in 1955.
 He got the idea for the plot from a lawyer friend, who
told him about a longshoreman who had ratted to the
Immigration Bureau on two brothers, his own
relatives, who were living illegally in his home, in order
to break an engagement between one of them and his
 Coupled with his interest in the docks in New York’s
Brooklyn harbour, and the Italian immigrant
communities that primarily worked and lived there, he
created what became the play A View from the Bridge.
 From what I’ve told you so far, can you answer
the following questions?
 Where does the play take place?
 When (time period) does the play take place?
 What is the general plot of the play?
 What sort of characters will be involved?
 Who will be the tragic hero?
 What will be his downfall?
Cast of Characters
 Alfieri - lawyer
 Eddie – Italian immigrant
 Beatrice - Eddie’s wife
 Catherine – their orphaned niece
 Rodolfo and Marco – Bea’s cousins
 A theme is an idea that runs through a text. A text
may have one theme or many. Understanding the
themes makes the text more than 'just' a story - it
becomes something more significant, because
we're encouraged to think deeper about the story
and work out what lies beyond the plot.
 There are different kinds of love – from what
characters do we learn about the different sorts of
Justice and the Law
 From the very beginning, it is established that
justice and the law are going to be important in
the play.
 The play encourages us to ask what is justice?
What makes justice?
 Connecting the themes of Justice and the Law
and Love is the theme of Honour.
 Honour is shown to be very important, especially
to the male characters. It means far more to them
than the law. To be honourable is to be respected.
Act One
 The stage directions:
 What clues do the stage directions give us about the
setting of the play.
 What clues do the stage directions give us about the
characters who will inhabit the stage?
Act 1: The prologue
 Continue on, reading Alfieri’s prologue, stopping
just before Eddie starts to speak.
 What does Alfieri’s prologue tell us about justice
and the law?
 What sort of history surrounds the characters in
the play, and why do you think Miller has included
this information?
 How does Alfieri describe the setting?
 What does he foreshadow happening?
Act 1:
Eddie and Catherine’s initial conversation
 What sort of
do Eddie and
have? Use
examples from
the text to
back up your
Act 1:
Discussing the arrival of the cousins
 What clues are there that the cousins
coming to America isn’t entirely
 How is the theme of honour evident
in this section of the scene?
 What impressions do you get of
 Eddie
 Beatrice
 Their relationship
Act 1:
Catherine’s News
 How does Eddie react to
the news of Catherine’s
job? Why?
 What sort of relationship
to Beatrice and Catherine
 Create a table like the one below in your notes, to record what we know
so far about Eddie, Catherine and Beatrice. Use quotations from the
play to support your comments. This will aid you later when you revise.
- Protective of, and concerned for, his
niece Catherine.
‘You look like one of them girls that
went to college’
Giving Advice to the Actors
 On your Literature exam, you could be asked a
question that invites you to give instruction/advice
to a person playing a character in the play.
If you were directing a
performance of the play, how
would you advise the actors
playing these three main roles?
Give reasons for your comments
•Tone of voice for each character
•Their physical movements
•The use of costume and makeup
Act 1:
Eddie Caves In
 What are your thoughts and feelings regarding
Eddie’s reaction to Catherine’s work proposal?
 What sort of hopes does Eddie have for his niece?
 Beatrice mentions that Eddie always seems to have
an excuse for keeping Catherine close. What are
your thoughts and feelings about this?
 Why does Eddie give in?
 What advice does Eddie give Catherine? What
does this tell us about his character?
Act 1:
Vinny Bolzano
 How does the mood in the
house change, once Eddie has
accepted Catherine’s news?
Why are Eddie and Beatrice so
What happened to Vinny?
What do we learn about the
Red Hook community, through
the story about Vinny?
What is Eddie’s opinion on
what Vinny did?
Consider the Following....
Act 1:
The Arrival
 How do the two men think of
Eddie’s home?
What are their hopes for
coming to America?
How do the two men treat
What does Catherine think of
the two men?
How do Marco and Rodolfo
describe life in Italy?
Act 1:
Marco and Rodolfo
 What is Rodolfo’s
dream? Is it realistic?
 What is Marco’s
dream? Is it realistic?
 Why does Eddie stop
Rodolfo from singing?
 What sort of
relationship do Marco
and Rodolfo have?
Act 1 :
Marco and Rodolfo
 Create a chart, similar to the one we created earlier,
for Marco and Rodolpho
Act 1:
Growing Suspicion
 How does Eddie react to
Catherine’s shoes?
 Why does Eddie start to view
Rodolfo with suspicion?
Act 1:
Who can ever know what will be discovered?
Eddie Carbone had never expected to have a
destiny. A man works, raises his family, goes
bowling, eats, gets old, and then he dies.
Now, as the weeks passed, there was a future,
there was a trouble that would not go away.
What does Alfieri’s speech tell
us about:
•How much time has passed.
•What has happened, or what
will happen?
Act 1:
Eddie’s Growing Concerns
 What do we learn has happened in the weeks that
have passed?
What is Eddie’s view of Rodolfo? Use examples
from the text to support your answer.
What is Beatrice’s view of Rodolfo? Use examples
from the text to support your answer.
‘Of him? Boy, you sure don’t think much of me’.
What does this quote tell us about Eddie?
How does Eddie rate Rodolfo’s masculinity, versus
that of Marco? Why do you think he does this?
Act 1:
Marital Troubles
 Why is Beatrice upset?
 How does Eddie react?
 Why do you think
Eddie has had trouble’s
in his marriage?
 How does Beatrice feel
about Eddie’s concern
for Catherine? Is she
Act 1:
An Outsiders Opinion
 What do Mike and Louis think of
Marco and Rodolfo? Use specific
examples from the text to support
your answer.
 How does Eddie react to their praise
for Rodolfo?
 What does this tell us about his
feelings for Rodolfo, and about Eddie
as a character?
Act 1:
Eddie and Catherine Talk
 How does Eddie treat Rodolfo?
 How does Rodolfo treat Eddie?
 What does Catherine think of the relationship
between Eddie and Rodolfo? What does this mean for
her future?
 What clues are there that Eddie is uncomfortable with
Catherine growing up?
 How does Eddie react when he finds up Catherine
likes Rodolfo?
 What are your thoughts and feelings regarding Eddie’s
theory about Rodolfo?
Act 1:
Beatrice and Catherine Talk
 How does Beatrice treat and regard Catherine?
 What does Beatrice think of the relationship
between Catherine and Eddie?
 What does Beatrice encourage Catherine to do?
 Do you feel that Beatrice has any ulterior motives
behind her advice?
 How has the connection between Eddie and
Catherine changed?
Alfieri’s speech to the audience
It was at this time that he
first came to me.... I
remember him now as he
walked through my
doorway – His eyes were
like tunnels; my first
thought was that he had
committed a crime.
What sort of image does this paint in your mind of
What does it suggest?
Has Eddie, at this point, committed a crime?
Act 1:
Eddie consults Alfieri
 Alfieri tells Eddie ‘there’s nothing illegal about a
girl falling in love with an immigrant.’ Is this
really what is bothering Eddie?
How does Eddie ‘judge’ Rodolfo’s intentions?
Does Alfieri buy into his theory? Do you?
Examine the way Eddie speaks in this scene. How
would you direct an actor to do these lines?
What does Eddie imply about Rodolfo’s
masculinity? He is justified in his claims?
Can Eddie use the law to help him at this stage?
...every man’s got somebody he loves, heh?
But sometimes...there’s too much. You
know? There’s too much, and it goes
where it mustn’t. A niece, sometimes even
a daughter, and he never realizes it, but
through the years – there is too much love
for the daughter, there is too much love for
the niece. Do you understand what I’m
saying to you?
What is
Alfieri trying
to say to
Eddie at this
Is there any
element of a
warning in
his advice?
 Why does Eddie get angry when Alfieri says that
Catherine cannot marry him?
There are times when you want to spread an
alarm, but nothing has happened. I knew, I
knew then and there – I could have finished
the whole story that afternoon. It wasn’t as
though there was a mystery to unravel. I
could see every step coming, step after step,
like a dark figure walking down the hall
toward a certain door. I knew where he was
heading for, I knew where he was going to
end. And I sat here many afternoons asking
myself why, being an intelligent man, I was
so powerless to stop it...
Examine the language
used by Alfieri.
What clues does he
give us that something
bad is going to
Why does he feel
Could whatever
happens have been
prevented? How?
Alfieri’s role in the play
 What functions does
Alfieri have in the play?
When he appears on
stage, what purpose
does he serve?
Act 1:
A Big Happy Family?
 How does Eddie cause discord in the family?
 How are Eddie and Rodolfo different from each
 How do Marco and Rodolfo describe life in Italy?
How does it differ from that in America?
 What sort of relationship do Marco an Rodolfo
Act 1: The Fight
 Why does Catherine ask Rodolfo to dance?
 How do the other characters react to the couple
What more does Eddie learn about Rodolfo that
makes him uneasy?
Do you feel he is sincere when he says he’d ‘be like
in a dress store’?
Why does Eddie offer to teach Rodolfo to box?
What is Marco trying to prove by lifting the chair?
How does both Eddie and the others react?
 You are to choose one of the following:
Write a letter, as
Marco, to his wife
and children back
home in Italy.
Write a letter, as
Rodolfo, to his
friends back home in
Use the worksheet
provided as a
Use the worksheet
provided as a

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