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A detailed exploration of the ending to 'A View From A Bridge

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Introduction

A detailed exploration of the ending to 'A View From A Bridge' Alfieri's opening words on events running their 'bloody course' prepare us for a violent and tragic finale. Miller gradually raises the tension through the entire play leading up to the climactic ending; for example the boxing scene where Eddie pretends to be teaching Rodolpho how to box but we know that he is actually looking for an excuse to hit Rodolpho. In addition the scene where Eddie kisses Catherine and Rodolpho builds a lot of tension and suspense because Eddie is trying to prove to Catherine that Rodolpho is homosexual by kissing him. The Italian code of honour (which states that if anyone causes a member of your family harm then it is almost your duty to get revenge on them) is very significant as Eddie breaks the code on more than one occasion, thus losing other people's respect as he has broken the unwritten law. The stage direction 'Marco appears outside, walking towards the door from a distant point' is incredibly powerful as Miller is trying to create tension and we know that Marco has come to kill Eddie as Rodolpho says earlier on that 'he (Marco) is praying in the church. You understand?' Also the fact that Miller makes Marco walk towards the door 'from a distant point' is significant as it gives us time to see Marco's face and determined body language. Moreover, Miller creates this image that Marco now, like Eddie, has tunnel eyes as he is focused solely on taking revenge on Eddie. ...read more.

Middle

Miller is showing here that Eddie is trying to deceive himself. Miller also creates a lot of tension, as the audience will be worried that the neighbourhood will believe Eddie. As Eddie goes on he seems crazy as 'little bits of laughter escape him ... his eyes are murderous ... he cracks his knuckles ... with a strange sort of relaxation.' As Eddie cracks his knuckles this sound effect foreshadows the fight. He is clearly challenging Marco and is also trying to intimidate him as well. During Eddie's little speech, he is trying to make Marco feel guilty by using phrases like 'in the bible' so he will apologise to the neighbourhood. There is then a powerful stage direction 'he is moving now, carefully, toward Marco'. Miller creates an awful lot of tension here, as it is signalling that the fight is about to start. Miller also uses a clever stage picture by using the word 'carefully'. This suggests that Eddie is worried and knows what Marco could do to him, as he knows how strong Marco is. Miller also uses an atmospheric sound effect with Beatrice and Catherine 'keening' which creates a horrible, eerie atmosphere. Then Eddie starts talking again which builds the tension up and then there is a key stage direction 'he lunges for Marco as a great hushed shout up from the people. Marco strikes Eddie beside the neck'. Miller creates yet another powerful stage picture as it looks like Eddie's going to land the first blow in the fight but there is a dramatic twist and it is actually Marco. ...read more.

Conclusion

Miller creates a striking image of a black tunnel of mourning with a funeral, eerie atmosphere. It is also very fitting and structurally right, that Alfieri should end the play, as he was the one who started the story and the only one who could see what was going to happen. In Alfieri's final speech, Miller is trying to make us take a more sympathetic view on Eddie ('for that I will love him more than any other one of my sensible clients'), as he had feelings that he couldn't control and that took him over the edge. Alfieri's character is very interesting as he takes on three roles: He is a character in the play, he's a narrator who tells us what is going on and he is also a chorus figure who comments on the action as it happens. Although some people wouldn't sympathise, I do feel a little bit sorry for Eddie as he had feelings that he couldn't control but I think he justly got what he deserved. I think Miller chose this ending rather than others he tried out, because it is right that Marco kills Eddie; in addition, the moment when Eddie has the knife in his hands is an accurate portrayal of what happens throughout the play as Eddie is responsible for his own demise. I think the most powerful, dramatic moment is when Eddie has the knife in his hand and Marco twists Eddie's hand back round to kill himself. This is because there is yet another dramatic twist and Eddie rightly gets what he deserved. ?? ?? ?? ?? Mark Prentice-Whitney 10T ...read more.

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