Uploaded by Joel Caldicott

A View from the Bridge CEL plan

Title: A View from the Bridge – Critical Essay
Task: Choose a play in which one of the main themes is betrayal. Show how the
theme of betrayal is explored throughout the play.
Intro example: (Use your own words)
‘A View from the Bridge’, a tragedy by Arthur Miller is a play which deals with the
theme of betrayal. The main character, the tragic figure of Eddie Carbone, is someone
who betrays the trust of his family and destroys his own life as a result. At the core of
the play is the idea of betrayal and Miller effectively explores this with
characterisation, foreshadowing and symbolism.
Paragraph 2:
Topic sentence: The play opens with Alfieri, a lawyer, discussing the ‘bloody course’
of the play’s events in retrospect.
Looking at pages 3-4, describe the setting (around 1950, Red Hook, etc).
Briefly explain who Catherine and Eddie are and describe their loving, respectful
relationship towards each other. Use quotes (page 5)
Link back to the task by explaining how Catherine’s trust of Eddie is slowly worn
away / eroded / diminished by Eddie’s paranoia. This escalates / builds up until he
eventually betrays her. Link to:
Paragraph 3:
Topic sentence: Loyalty is an important quality in the largely Italian-American
community of Red Hook.
Explain (using quotes - pages 13-14) how, to Eddie, betraying your family is the
ultimate in mistakes.
Note: you have to include the story of Vinny Bolzano and analyse some of
Eddie’s response on page 14. Mention that Miller is using foreshadowing here.
Link to:
Paragraph 4:
Topic sentence: Beatrice’s cousins, Rodolfo and Marco arrive in Red Hook illegally
from Italy and Eddie quickly becomes angry about Rodolfo’s relationship with
Briefly explain that Eddie has ‘too much’ love for Catherine and is over-protective
of her. Use quotes and analyse them.
Explain and discuss exactly what it is about Rodolfo that upsets Eddie; his
singing, his cooking, his dressmaking ability. The dock workers laugh at him, and
Eddie see this as an insult to his family. Also that Rodolfo has no issues in the
bedroom (p46-47) and that Eddie does; he’s jealous of this fact. Link to:
Paragraph 5:
Topic sentence: Eddie wants to stop the marriage of Catherine and Rodolfo but the
law does not allow him to do so.
Explain how Eddie is becoming increasingly desperate at the thought of losing
Catherine (use ‘goddam thief’ quote on p35 and analyse – R has done nothing
badly wrong, this emphasises Eddie’s extreme love and paranoia.)
Write about Eddie becoming more wild and self-destructive. Kissing Catherine
and Rodolfo (p47) is a form of betrayal and mockery: Catherine is humiliated and
this makes sure Eddie will lose her. Link to:
Paragraph 6:
Topic sentence: Eddie’s final desperate action is to stop the wedding by calling
Immigration to inform them of the illegal immigrants. In doing so, he betrays not only
Rodolfo, Marco and two other ‘submarines’, but also his whole family and the
Write about how Marco spits in Eddie’s face and how this means a loss of
Analyse how much Eddie has changed since his quotes about loyalty on p14.
Is he being true to himself, to what he believes is right? How much of his
opposition to Rodolfo is a belief that he is unsuitable and how much is sexual
jealousy? Mention that he is killed by Marco as a result of his betrayal and pride
over his ‘name.’
Topic sentence: In conclusion, Eddie is very confused about his feelings towards
Catherine, but he always does what he believes is the right thing.
In the rest of your conclusion, discuss the following:
Was Eddie right to betray his relatives and go against his own code of ‘honour’
and ‘loyalty’?
What was Eddie’s ‘fatal flaw’ and how did this lead to his downfall and betrayal
of his family?
Word count: 800 words minimum.