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A View from the bridge - Choose two of the key physical dramatic moments from the play and show how these are significant in dramatising Eddie's fall.

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Introduction

Choose two of the key physical dramatic moments from the play and show how these are significant in dramatising Eddie's fall. Eddie's decline in the play all comes from the hatred he has for Rodolfo for taking Catherine away from him and the way that he and Marco undermine his position in the household and lower the amount of respect that Eddie gets. These are particularly visible in two particular scenes in the play, in which Eddie challenges Rodolfo to a boxing match and where he kisses Catherine and Rodolfo in a drunken state. After Eddie's meeting with Alfieri in which he expresses his concerns of Rodolfo's sexuality, the audience know Eddie's feelings towards him. When Eddie decides to challenge Rodolfo's masculinity in the next scene, Miller creates tension because they know Eddie's motives behind challenging Rodolfo to a boxing match. He makes it even clearer when during the fairly light hearted conversation between Rodolfo, Beatrice, Catherine and Eddie he highlights all Rodolfo's femininities. 'It's wonderful. He sings, he cooks, he could make dresses,' These are all things that would in this time be considered as women's jobs and activities, not for men. Eddie prides his own masculinity and mocks Rodolfo for not having it. Eddie feels that he has to show Beatrice this as well, because his masculinity has been attacked by Beatrice when she asks 'When am I gonna be a wife again, Eddie?' ...read more.

Middle

This is a threat to Eddie, and he will not tolerate threats because it undermines his position in the household and shows the lack of respect that he is striving to maintain. It is also the last thing the audience see before the curtain goes down for the interval, an image of Marco standing over Eddie holding a chair over his head, and it leaves an impression on the audience for them to pick up after the interval. In this event, Eddie's attempts to win Catherine back to him are unsuccessful and anger him. Eddie has now been provoked by both of the people that he has let into his home, and this pushes him into taking serious action to get rid of these people who are undermining and embarrassing him, and it is this that leads to Eddie's drastic actions near the end of the play. Throughout the play up to this point, Miller has built tension between Eddie, Catherine and Rodolfo, but there has not yet been a full confrontation between the three characters. Eddie's decline has been shown to the audience through his meetings with Alfieri, and not through conversation with any other characters. The audience sense that a confrontation will be imminent because at the end of act one in the 'boxing,' scene Marco and Rodolfo came out on top of Eddie's 'mind games,' and Eddie feels at this point a need to reclaim his position over the other characters and the household. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is clear to the audience that Eddie is now a broken man 'Well, don't cry.. Oh Eddie, don't be like that!' When Catherine talks to him, begging him not to be upset with her, she reaches inside a part of him. He is longing for Catherine and draws him to her and kisses her on the mouth. Miller could have had many different motives for having Eddie kiss Catherine in this way, and the audience would have several responses to it. Firstly, Eddie is not in control of his emotions, which are extremely complicated. He has a desire for Catherine that he should not have, being her uncle. He does not recognise or understand his obsession with her, but he is jealous of what Catherine and Rodolfo have and is extremely reluctant to be displaced in Catherine's affections. The reasons for Eddie then proceeding to kiss Rodolfo are more obvious to the audience. As they find out in the second scene with Eddie and Alfieri, Eddie thinks that Rodolfo may be gay. 'The guy ain't right, Mr Alfieri.' He kisses Rodolfo to tell him that he 'knows,' that he is gay and that he 'knows,' that Rodolfo wants to marry Catherine only because it would make him a US citizen. He also wants to reveal this to Catherine 'You see?' and so the kiss may be to highlight this fact to her. ...read more.

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