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a view from the bridge

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Introduction

Arthur Miller proves to all readers just how much potential he has. In 'A View From' the Bridge, he creates great dramatic tension in numerous ways. Dramatic tension is essential in plays because it keeps the viewer hooked and makes them tense too. Miller uses the over-protective character of Eddie and his actions, the anxieties of Catherine and Beatrice and the boxing "fight" between Eddie and Rodolpho to make the audience tense. This tension is heightened by sudden movements and gestures. Tension is also drastically increased by the characters words and the serious conflict between all three male characters. In this scene, Miller uses the character of Eddie to create tension. At the start of this scene there is hardly any tension. The audience watches a domestic scene, with the table being cleared after supper. As the conversation of Italy arises, the tension grows. This quote shows Eddie's arrogance towards Marco and Rodolpho and also shows his sarcasm, "I heard they paint the oranges to make them look orange". Marco and Rodolpho then correct Eddie by saying "No, in Italy the oranges are orange... Lemons are green" the audience now get the impression that there is going to be an argument arising. Eddie tries to then defend himself by saying, "I know lemons are green for Christ sake... ...read more.

Middle

This lesson of boxing soon develops into very dramatic tension. Eddie suddenly throws a punch right across Rodolpho's face. Marco then rises in astonishment. The audience are as shocked as Marco. Eddie shows no sympathy towards Rodolpho and doesn't even apologise. This hints to the audience that this was intentional. Eddie then says to Rodolpho, "...I didn't hurt him. Did I hurt you kid?" This shows us that Eddie is just pretending to care so that nobody thinks he's guilty of anything. He doesn't believe he has done anything wrong. Rodolpho then replies, "No, no, he didn't hurt me, I was only surprised." This quote shows us that despite getting hurt by Eddie, Rodolpho still shows respect towards him. How was Eddie to know that this little incident with Rodolpho was going to heighten the tension dramatically at the end of Act 1...? Sudden movements also contribute to the drama of the play. For example, when Catherine asks Rodolpho to dance, Eddie freezes. This shows that he is against this idea and shocked that Catherine could even think to come up with the idea. The audience can see and feel Eddie's anger and frustration heating up inside him as he can't bear to watch them dance together. The topic of work soon arises and Eddie feels he needs to express his opinion on what Rodolpho really should be doing with his life. ...read more.

Conclusion

this challenge seems easy to Eddie and he's confidant that he can succeed. However, he fails. In embarrassment Eddie says, "Gee, that's hard, I never knew that." He then tries again. This shows how determined he is too achieve this challenge that Marco set him. Yet again, he fails. "It's at an angle, that's why, heh?" Here, Eddie feels embarrassed so makes up an excuse for failing. This shows that Eddie always wants to be the best and will strive to accomplish his goals. Everyone stops and watches in amazement at the site of Marco slowly lifting up the chair higher and higher. There's pure silence on stage as the characters as well as the audience focus on the chair. The chair has now been lifted so that it is raised over Eddie's head like a weapon. Marco and Eddie are face to face. Eddie's grin vanishes as he absorbs Marco's threatening glare. Marco is showing Eddie who is stronger and more powerful. He is also warning him to stay away from his little brother, Rodolpho. Eddie now realises he has met his 'rival' and defiantly lost the match. Throughout viewing this play, I have learned the many different ways in which Arthur Miller creates dramatic tension. To create tension you could show characters being threatened by other characters, have tension show through the characters dialogue, actions, sudden movements, characters anxieties and also through tense pauses. This scene indicates many arguments, tense moments, shocking events and many disagreements to come in Act 2. ...read more.

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