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A view from the bridge.

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Introduction

A View From The Bridge A View from the Bridge, a play set in 1948, in the slums of New York, is about a man, Eddie Carbone, an illiterate longshoreman, whose journey we follow towards self-discovery with his emotions that unfold. It is said to be a modern version of a Greek tragedy with its powerful speeches and references to fate. The play is in two acts, but careful incisions by Alfieri help the audience to reflect on the events. The title of the play implies Alfieri's view from Brooklyn Bridge, watching over the scenes of Red Hook. Since this play is supposed to be a modern version of a Greek tragedy, tragic events take place throughout the play. The concept of impending doom is something that is inevitable, and throughout this essay, I will go into depth about how Arthur Miller creates the atmosphere through his continuous stage directions. This thrilling and tragic drama is about incestuous love, jealousy and betrayal. Before I started reading this play, I knew there were going to be stage directions but I didn't understand the importance of them and how much they play a part in moving the play on, creating the atmosphere, creating tension in the play. Firstly, we see Eddie's and Catherine talking. Eddie's first comments to Catherine this early in the play are all centred on Catherine's appearance. ...read more.

Middle

We see sarcasm (Eddie's constant implications about Rodolpho's sexuality), anger (Marcos' lifting of the chair, over Eddie), sexual gestures (Rodolpho's repeated attempts to win Catherine over, but also the incestuous lust of Eddie Is shown), and happiness (Catherine's content caused by Rodolpho). In drama lessons I learnt that stage directions and unsaid actions, is as important than dialogue, especially in miming etc. True emotions are reflected mostly by their actions, more often that said. In some plays there are two-faced characters, who say one thing but does another. When I was reading the play I found that a simple 2-word stage direction can change our feelings towards a certain character, and even change the whole mood of the scene. In the opening scene of act 2, we see Rodolpho and Catherine start the act with a very intimate gesture, without talking about anything intimate. Catherine: You hungry? Rodolpho: Not for anything to eat. [pause] I have nearly $300. That pause is emphasizing the thought of Rodolpho hungry for something else. I'll leave that it to you what you think it is. That pause is very important in these few lines. The pause gives a sense of Rodolpho and Catherine's relationship. This is only one of the first of many sexual gestures made in the play. But, we see Rodolpho carry on with another sentence, changing the subject completely after the pause. ...read more.

Conclusion

When watching them, and following the play at the same time, I came across very little stage directions, but the pair had entered their own, showing initiative and passion for their parts, and each others. They were able to convey the characters feelings very well and were able to climax the performance well, using their own stage directions and the original ones. I would like to see professional actors act out the scene so I can do slight comparisons which could help me understand more clearly how others interpret stage directions. Actors are also faced with simile stage directions, such as the one below from page 66. Both Eddie and Rodolpho are described as animals, symbolising an animal's primeval urge to show power. [They are like animals that have torn at one another and broken up without a decision, each waiting for the other's mood] When I read that, it struck me as being out of the ordinary because it was so descriptive and imaginative. Stage directions always just used to be just 'sit down', 'smiling as she heads to kitchen door' etc. basic tasks, but I had never seen a direction like that before. This takes us back to the point I made earlier about how different actors interpret certain directions. This essay has made me appreciate the use and importance of stage directions, particularly in this play. Whether they are as important as words are up to you, the reader. Laura Bentley 10 Dolbe ...read more.

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