Example research essay topic: Arthur Miller’s Use Of Symbolism In “a View From The Bridge” – 1,130 words

The whole of this play involves symbolism, on many
different levels. The end scene, in which Eddie
takes his own life with his own knife is symbolic
of the self-destructive nature that led to such an
ending. As Arthur Miller wished to write a modern
Greek tragedy it is likely that the symbolism of
the dagger is Eddies sexuality, which drove him to
his drastic actions and eventually death. During
the confrontation earlier in the play Marco raised
a chair like a weapon, symbolic of the fight yet
to come. Rudolpho danced with Catherine when she
had previously been attending to Eddie, symbolic
of him taking her from Eddies life. Therefore it
seems natural to reason that Miller intended the
title of the play to have some significance other
than the geography of the location.

The most
obvious interpretation is of the audience sharing
with Alfieri an unbiased overview of the unfolding
of events. It is like being able to see from a
bridge over a river, our vision uncluttered by
opinions as it would be by the side of the river,
or perhaps even as part of the river. The spray
and swirling of currents of a river could
represent the uncertain nature of life that clouds
our perceptions and the flow of water the rush of
emotions that carry us from birth to death.
Though, even Alfieri is not completely removed
from the happenings of the play, he takes an
active part in the play as well as providing the
chorus character of the Greek format that Miller
used. He is part of the American culture, but also
part of the Italian culture, he also knew the
family I had represented his father in an accident
case some years before, and I was acquainted with
the family in a casual way. Perhaps this is why he
is able to give a balanced opinion and to counsel
Eddie (though his advice is unheeded). On the
bridge we have time to form opinions, to judge
other people, to settle for half.

It was his
American audience that Miller addressed through
Alfieri: Most of the time now we settle for half
and I like it better. But the truth is holy, and
even as I know how wrong he was and his death
useless, I tremble for, I confess that something
perversely pure calls to me from his memory–not
purely good, but himself, purely, for he allowed
himself to be wholly known and for that I think I
will love him more than all my sensible clients.
This dilutes the feeling of superiority and
detachment that we are permitted from the
beginning of the play. The title A View from the
Bridge no longer seems to imply the safety of
distance from events, but the need to realise, and
perhaps revise, our morals and opinions in our
judgement of others. What qualifies one set of
values above another? Alternatively the bridge
could be viewed as spanning the two cultures –
American and Sicilian. This could be viewed as
positive, for example it could be said that
Catherine and Rudolphos love seems able to
overcome extreme cultural barriers. Even Eddies
death could be seen as the gradual disappearance
of such obstacles, though presented realistically,
not in a fairy tale format as the audience do feel
pity and sorrow at his death.

On the other hand,
the bridge could be seen as the merging of these
cultures, the stronger American one dissolving the
passions and identities of all its inhabitants.
There could be further symbolism here, the
metaphorical bridge between Catherines childhood
and adulthood that can only be crossed once and
leads her further into the constraints and
limitations of her surroundings, is comparable to
the way that the ardent naivety and ferocious
simplicity of the Italian culture of her origins
is absorbed into the impassionate American
bureaucracy. There are other journeys between
extremes that could be the bridge of the play,
e.g. Eddies transformation into a character like
the Vinnie Bolzano he described previously. Eddies
unavoidable crossing from a happy family
circumstance into the situation that Alfieri
predicted You won’t have a friend in the
world…Put it out of your mind”. As Eddie changes
in character and his desperation increases his
view of the events unfolding is warped. He becomes
obsessed with Rudolphos sexuality and
unsuitability for Catherine and repeatedly refers
to what he regards as proof of this, for example
his blond hair, the laughter of his friends, and
his singing.

He truly believes that Rudolpho is
gay, and states it almost outright several times,
that guy aint right, and hes so pretty you could
kiss him! However, I personally feel that the most
likely reason for Arthur Millers naming of the
play as A View from the Bridge is the obvious
metaphor of the audiences perspective.
“;”100″;”816″;”1019920968″;”40523″;”5” “Logan
P”;”Macbeth-Weakness”;”Every single human being
possesses at least one poor quality. Often times
it is this characteristic that can cause great
destruction and devastating results. In the play,
MacBeth, by William Shakespeare, the main
character, MacBeth, allows his weaknesses to
produce a horrendous outcome. Overwhelming greed
drove MacBeth to extreme lengths in order to reach
his objective. One murder lead to another as
MacBeths flaws were revealed. In his quest for
total domination, not only did MacBeth lose his
conscience, but his decisions would prove to be

MacBeth was an extremely self-centered man
who possessed intense ambition. Through a series
of events, MacBeths avariciousness became apparent
to others. He possessed an excessive amount of
greed, which would eventually become lethal.
Initiated by the witches, MacBeths conscience
flirted with the idea of having complete power.
Due to his insatiable voracity, however, it didnt
take MacBeth long to put his thoughts into action.
Blinded by his greed, MacBeth traveled deeper and
deeper into danger. Beginning with the murder of
Duncan, a chain reaction had quickly developed.
Next to be killed was Banquo, followed by Macduffs
family. Each murder drew MacBeth closer to the
throne. His overpowering selfishness ended up
costing many lives, and eventually would bring
about his own downfall.

Unaware of what might
become of his actions, MacBeth allowed his
egocentric attitude to take control. His
self-centered approach landed MacBeth in an
unstable position. Driven by the desire to attain
as much authority as possible, MacBeth committed
many appalling mistakes. Although he may have
acquired what he was searching for, it didnt last
long, and MacBeths previous actions became fatal
mistakes. As an effect of his selfishness, MacBeth
was subject to fatal consequences. By this time
however, it was too late and MacBeth suffered
immensely as a result.

Another thing that landed
MacBeth is serious trouble was his ambition.
Spurred on by Lady MacBeth, his influential
aspirations assisted MacBeth i ….

Research essay sample on Arthur Millers Use Of Symbolism In a View From The Bridge