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 Catherine. 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 community. Write about how Marco spits in Eddie’s face and how this means a loss of reputation. 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.’ Conclusion 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.