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Moment of Anger - Alfieri's Opening Speech

Categories Freedom Of Speech

Speech, Pages 6 (1455 words)



Speech, Pages 6 (1455 words)

Eddie leaves Catherine and Rodolpho, and goes on to see Alfieri. From Alfieri’s opening speech we see Alfieri to feel “powerless” and from the repeated encounters of Eddie and Alferie, we realise all Alferie can do is lend an ear to Eddie and let the situation “run it’s bloody course. ” All Alfieri can do is warn Eddie of the consequences if he takes drastic actions. The dramatic effects are less powerful on the video in my opinion because in the book we read of a ‘phone booth begins to glow on the opposite side of the stage; a faint, lonely blue’.

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It is as if the phone booth pulls Eddie in.

Yet on the video all we see is Eddie on the phone to the immigration bureau with no real dramatic build up. Eddie rings the immigration bureau on Marco and Rodolpho, and now Eddie has broken the code of loyalty, we recognise the fact that Eddie has “Snitched” like Vinny Bolzano.

I think halfway through the phone call Eddie realises what he is doing and has ‘greater difficulty’ because he his conscience is telling him he has betrayed the whole community. There is dramatic irony, as only the audience know of what Eddie has just done.

When Eddie has finished the phone call to the immigration bureau and is on his way home he bumps into Louis and Mike, they ask him to come bowling but Eddie but at this time Eddie turns down the offer, as he is feeling guilty.

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 When he is in the house Miller presents to the audience the development in Eddie and Beatrice’s relationship. Eddie expects Beatrice to respect him and do as he says, “A wife is supposed to believe a husband.”

Beatrice wants to respect Eddie but at the same time she wants some peace and wants to repair things in the family, as the family is broken and drifting apart. Up until now in the story Eddie has always had authority and what he had said would have gone, but now, Catherine is standing up to him and going against his command and getting married to Rodolpho while Beatrice is trying to compromise so every one is happy. Beatrice is caught in the middle, as Catherine wants her to be present at her wedding and Eddie wants her to show some respect and stay with him at home. With whatever choice she makes she will be going against another persons plan.

There is dramatic irony in the plot as we expect the Immigration officers to come and so when Eddie finds out that there are two more “Submarines” upstairs with Marco and Rodolpho he becomes frightened and very anxious as he knows “Lipari’s liable to blame you or me”. The tension is building up as Eddie can not tell his family what he has done as he knows it is very shameful and now other family’s are involved in it he will lose all respect in his neighbourhood.

The crescendo is very dramatically effective both in the video and in the script as we see the family inside and the immigration officers coming up to the door. When they ‘knock on the door’ there is tension in the air and a pregnant pause, ‘they all stand motionless’, which after a few seconds is followed by the moment of realisation. Beatrice sees what Eddie has done; ‘she looks at him and sees his terror’. The audience knows the irony of what Eddie is denying and that he has gone against his word when he said he “wouldn’t do that” earlier on in act one with a previous meeting with Alfieri.

In the script when Marco and Rodolpho are being taken away by the immigration officers we are told, ‘Marco spits into Eddie’s face’ this is a sign of disrespect and a manly thing to stand up to Eddie. In the Video we see Marco break from the Officers but once he spits in Eddie’s face he backs away and looks unsure of what he had just done. This one scene contrasts in both script and the play, I see the script to be more effective as it shows Marco to be the stronger character and that he is really shaming Eddie for what he has done.

Catherine and Eddie’s relationship has taken a turn whereby Catherine no longer seems friendly to Eddie. Catherine and Rodolpho’s relationship has developed to be very strong and she stays by his side all the way and tries to save Rodolpho by saying he was born in Philadelphia. Once Marco and Rodolpho have been taken away, they are allowed to see their Alfieri. Alfieri makes Marco promise that he will not kill Eddie and has trouble in deciding whether to make the promise or not. When he finally realises that he will not be allowed out unless he makes the promise he says “all right” but Alfieri can tell something will happen and when he is ‘nodding’ to say he has done the right thing it is ‘not with assurance’.

When Catherine goes back to the house to collect her aunt we see the final break between Catherine and Eddie. The relationship between Catherine and Eddie started out to be very close, she has loved him for 18 years and then one day she stands up to him and tells him he is a “rat” and he has no right to tell her what to do. Beatrice is stuck in the middle and does all her best to get them to see eye to eye but in the end she gives Catherine her blessing and stays at home with Eddie.

Before Marco arrives on the scene we see Rodolpho come up to Eddie and try to make some peace by blaming everything on his own back, “It is my fault, Eddie. Everything. I wish to apologize. It was wrong that I do not ask your permission. I kiss your hand.” Eddie does not see Rodolpho to have the power to give him his name back. All Eddie wants is his name back in the community, and Marco is the person who can do that. When Marco is coming down the street Calling for Eddie we know that something is going to happen. We can feel the tension when they all ‘stand transfixed’. Eddie expects Marco to apologise to him as he still sees himself to have done nothing wrong and that he is innocent with everything. When reading the script we foresee death as the stage directions ‘as his eyes are murderous’. I think at this stage we are unable to predict who is going to die, as both Eddie and Marco are full of rage.

When the climax scene is on stage I do not think the drama on the video is as effective as the stage directions in the script. On the video it all happens very suddenly and you don not get as much feel for the action, as there is not as much suspense created as there is in the script. When reading the script you are able to read the lines and the stage directions slower to make a bigger impact on the climax, whereas on the video it all roles on then it is over. I think Alfieri’s speech at the end is very powerful and the way the lights are projected, with Spotlight on Eddie and Beatrice, is very effective.

Eddie’s death at the end makes the audience pity him. We are sympathetic towards him as his death was futile yet inevitable. Eddie dies a tragic hero and did it out of pure love. Even though we are against what Eddie’s doing we still fell a loss. It is an explosive and moving climax with the end picture showing Beatrice with her dead husband because she really did love him and his last words, “My B” show where his heart lies and he love Beatrice.

The final paragraph uses poetic language and Alfieri says it in an emotional more than factual tone. Alfieri shows some admiration in his ending speech for Eddie, “I will love him more than all my sensible clients.” Alfieri admires Eddie as his heart was in the right place and he didn’t settle for half. Alfieri said, “Most of the time now we settle for half, and I like it better.” Alfieri can relate to preferring the whole thing then compromising but then he carries on to say, “And yet, it is better to settle for half, it must be!” This shows that if Eddie had compromised he may still be in the last scene. The play closes with the question lingering over the audience, was Eddie’s death suicide or just a nave misjudgement in the moment of anger?

Cite this essay

Moment of Anger – Alfieri’s Opening Speech. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/moment-of-anger-alfieris-opening-speech-essay

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