GCSE English Literature a View From The Bridge Character Analysis/ Notes

Analysis of Eddie, Alfieri, Catherine, Beatrice, Rodolfo and Marco. Good luck in your exams guys :)

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Characters in A View From the Bridge
Chorus figure/ Narrator
Alfieri has a detached view from the action in the play, he is not involved in much of it, but it a character in the
story when Eddie goes to see him about Catherine and Rodolfo
He is the chorus figure, he watches the action, and comments on it, addressing the audience directly
As the chorus, Alfieri never leaves the stage, stage directions refer to the lights going up or down on him, but
never him leaving the stage. This just underlines the fact that Alfieri has found everything out about the case, and
knows as much as he would if he were there watching it.
He is a neutral character, he has Italian roots, but has lied and worked in America for 25 years. This is what the
title of the book refers to; it is Alfieri's view from his position in the middle.
The play is told in flashbacks, Alfieri knows the story, and knows how it will end; we are told from the start that it
will "run its bloody course."
Alfieri knows exactly what's going to happen, but is still powerless to change anything
At both the start and the end of the play, Alfieri refers to the idea of settling for half; this I something that Eddie
cannot do, he wants both Beatrice and Catherine. This is also something Catherine cannot do until the end- she
wants both Eddie and Rodolfo; "Most of the time now we settle for half, and I like it better"
Alfieri is quick to understand what Eddie means, or what he feels, even if Eddie himself doesn't recognise it; he
realises that Eddie love Catherine in an inappropriate way, "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?"
He also understands when Eddie is planning on telling to the immigration, he says repetitively to Eddie, "You
won't have a friend in the world... Put it out of your mind"
Throughout most of the play, Alfieri is seen to support the American law- it's his job as he's a lawyer
Alfieri gets bail for the cousins; he makes Marco promise not to go after Eddie, however, almost as soon as
Marco is released, he breaks his promise. This raises questions about Alfieri; did he know this was going to
happen? And does he truly believe the law is the right way, or is he more in favour of the old Italian tribal laws-
involving violence?
He does, however, tell Marco "Only God makes justice" which would suggest he is trying to prevent him from
taking matters into his own hands
The idea of law appears often throughout the book. Near the end, Marco says "All the law is not in a book" this
is the same idea that Eddie has held throughout the play, they both believe there must be a legal course of
action to punish those who have insulted their honour.
Alfieri tells us at the end of the play that he mourns Eddie "with a certain... alarm" -even though he could
predict what was going to happen, he could do nothing about it; he is probably also thinking that Eddie's faults
are common, and that this should be a warning. Another, more disturbing thought is that he is thinking Eddie's
death is `right' ­ it shows the old making way for the new

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Characters in A View From the Bridge
Eddie Carbone
Tragic Protagonist
Eddie is 40 years old, an American of Sicilian descent; he is a family man and does whatever he can to provide for
Catherine and Beatrice.…read more

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Characters in A View From the Bridge
Pg. 5: "Listen, you been givin' me the willies the way you walk down the street, I mean it... you're walkin' wavy...
heads are turning like windmill"' ­ Eddie is over protective, but also shows that Eddie's head is turning too,
Pg. 14: "You can quicker get back a million dollars that was stole than a word you gave away" ­ attempts to protect
them, and is horrified by Vinny's betrayal.
Pg.…read more

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Characters in A View From the Bridge
She is Eddie's wife. She has never had children of her own and cares for Catherine as if she were her own
She is a loving, caring person. She is excited by the imminent arrival of her cousins and worried that everything is
not just so for them, yet also "nervous"
She defers to Eddie and lets him control things in the home.…read more

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Characters in A View From the Bridge
He is Marco's younger brother, but, unlike Marco, does not have a family back in Sicily
He has platinum hair and is very attractive- Catherine is immediately attracted to him
We do not find out much about Rodolfo throughout the course of the play- most of it is left for us to guess
He is very polite, even when Eddie is rude
He has a good sense of humour, and is popular on the docks- despite…read more


Paul Dutton

Lots of detail in this guide, good information on characters and useful quotes are included.

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