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What are the literary devices used in A View from the Bridge?

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jackleach | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 16, 2012 at 3:47 AM via web

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What are the literary devices used in A View from the Bridge?

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 12, 2012 at 3:20 PM (Answer #1)

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A number of literary devices are employed by Miller in this play. The first and most obvious literary device of the play is the use of a frame story

The lawyer, Alfieri, opens the story with a monologue (this is another repeatedly used literary device from the play. In a poetic speech, Alfieri introduces the themes of the play, including the background themes and the foreground themes. 

In the background of this play stands a notion of the Old World meeting the new. To some extent, the conflicts and tensions of the play grow out of this meeting of two worlds (we might even say "collision" of two worlds). 

Alfieri opens and closes the play with the same poetic refrain, repeating certain phrases and reiterating directly the idea that this play is not only about interpersonal conflict but also about a conflict of ages, so to speak. 

These monologues function as a frame story, as Alfieri introduces the protagonist in the opening monologue and makes a final comment in the closing coda

Alfieri serves as spokesperson for all as he delivers the final monologue, bringing the tragic tale to a close.

Additionally, Alfieri functions as the chorus in this play, hearkening back to Greek tradition. 

Arthur Miller modeled A View from the Bridge after Greek tragedy: He made the lawyer, Alfieri, the leader of a dramatic chorus...

Alfieri's repeated narration of events helps to control the way time passes in the play, separating periods of time with his monologues. Functionally, these narrative monologues replace scene breaks that would otherwise be used. 

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