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A view form the bridge - Explore the Dramatic Devices and Structures Used In the Play To Highlight the Audience’S Understanding of the Tragic Character of

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Introduction

EXPLORE THE DRAMATIC DEVICES AND STRUCTURES USED IN THE PLAY TO HIGHLIGHT THE AUDIENCE'S UNDERSTANDING OF THE TRAGIC CHARACTER OF EDDIE CARBONE In this essay, I intend to explore how Miller structured the play, and the dramatic devices he employed in order to highlight the audience's understanding of Eddie Carbone. "A View from the Bridge" was originally written by Arthur Miller as a single act play and in verse. He later re-wrote the play in prose and divided it into two acts. Miller separates the scenes within the two acts by use of the lawyer, Alfieri, who plays a similar part to that of a Greek chorus. Indeed, Miller wrote the first version of the play in the form of a Greek tragedy. The play is about the life of a man called Eddie Carbone, who lives with his wife, Beatrice and niece whom he has raised as his own daughter. In Red Hook, the slums of Brooklyn, his life is normal until the arrival of Beatrice's two Italian cousins. They have come into America illegally to find work and money to send home. At first, the two immigrants are welcomes but as the play goes on, we see everything develop and change. The play is a roller coaster of emotions and there is a theme of "all actions have a consequence". Eddie's life will never be the same again and as the audience, we see this change progress. The title of the play "A View from the Bridge", can be viewed in many different ways. From a literal point of view, the play is set in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge in the Red Hook slum district of New York, and the title could reflect this. However, there are many more subtle ways of considering the play's title. The audience could be seen as on the bridge looking down onto the play, powerless to stop its fate. ...read more.

Middle

Marco shows him that he can lift the chair in this way, and holds the chair above Eddie's head like a weapon. By doing this he is showing his support for his brother and his strength, and that he is not afraid of Eddie. Stage directions request Marco to transform what might appear like a glare of warning into a smile of triumph, and Eddie's grin vanishes as he absorbs his look. Beatrice is aware of the strong feelings that Eddie has for Catherine, and is concerned that Eddie's lack of interest in his wife is due to his unhealthy feelings for his niece. "When am I going to be a wife again Eddie?" she asks him, sadly. She tries to persuade Eddie that he should allow Catherine to marry Rodolpho, "He's a nice kid, what do you want from him" she asks, but he is adamant this will never happen. "He gives me the heeby-jeebies", "I don't like it", Eddie replies. Eddie really shows how badly he is taking the situation just before Christmas, when he returns home having been drinking. He finds Catherine and Rodolpho in the apartment alone, and they have obviously been in the bedroom together. Catherine comes out of the bedroom adjusting her dress. Immediately Rodolpho appears in the bedroom doorway. Although Eddie has been hinting to people that Rodolpho is a homosexual, he is livid when he thinks that he has slept with Catherine. Eddie orders Rodolpho to leave the house. "Pack it up, go ahead. Get your stuff and get outa here", he cries. Catherine stands up to Eddie at last, and says she will move out. "I have to get outa here Eddie" she says. Eddie is now out of control, "You ain't going nowheres" he tells her. He cannot restrain himself any longer. He reaches out, draws Catherine towards him and kisses her. This is a key point and the climax of tension and overwhelming emotions. Rodolpho says, "Don't! Stop that! Have respect for her!" ...read more.

Conclusion

I think that deep down Eddie knows that Rodolpho is not gay, or that he only wants to marry Catherine so that he can become an American citizen. Eddie just does not want to admit that Catherine loves someone else, who also loves her. He does not want to believe that Rodolpho could make her happier than Eddie himself. It is Eddie's sexual jealousy, which eventually brings about his downfall. The community is also important to Eddie, and at the start of the play, this gives him strength to think he is someone important, but later brings about his destruction. Eddie is uneducated and hard-working and he has a simple code of honour with a simple set of standards, which he expects to be reached. He believes that real men do not have blonde hair, high singing voices, the ability to sew and cook and dance. However, in his heart, he also knows that real men do not telephone the Immigration Bureau and "snitch" on his wife's own family. Irony is a powerful weapon for both tragic and comic effect, particularly in a play where there are so many different viewpoints. Irony operates on a basis of opposites, very often opposites between intention and achievement. Eddie's situation is very ironic: he acts to keep Catherine, but drives her away; he acts to keep his good name, but destroys it. Once Eddie has lost his respect, his honour and his "name" in front of his family and neighbours, his tragic life is finished. Those things that he learns too late deepen the irony. Many things contribute to the audience's understanding of the tragic character of Eddie Carbone, such as the stage directions, settings, characters attitudes towards Eddie and his attitude towards them. Other contributory factors are the description of characters and events and the use of Alfieri. However, these things only hint at the events that are to come, but it is Eddie himself that brings about his tragic downfall and in the end, his death. ENGLISH LITERATURE COURSEWORK - A View from the Bridge Alison Raggett - 10D Page 1 ...read more.

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