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"A View From the Bridge" - Show how Miller presents and develops the relationships between the main characters, increasing the dramatic tension to build up to an explosive and moving climax.

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Introduction

"A View From the Bridge" by Arthur Miller: Show how Miller presents and develops the relationships between the main characters, increasing the dramatic tension to build up to an explosive and moving climax. From the narratorial introduction made by the lawyer Alfieri our appetites are whetted by a mysterious "Bloody course" that is anticipated. Right from the beginning of the book there is dramatic tension that leaves the audience questioning what is going to happen, and what is the "Bloody course" implying? The first characters Miller presents to the audience are Catherine and Eddie Carbone. Eddie plays the part of a surrogate father to the young Catherine whose mother and father have passed away. Eddie plays a very important part in Catherine's life, as he is "responsible" for her because of the promise he made to her late mother on her deathbed; so they have quite a strong relationship whereby Catherine respects him and treats him like a father. At first we see Eddie to be quite an overprotective father who sees the naivety of Catherine and tries to explain to her the fact that she's, "Getting to be a big girl, you got to keep yourself more, can't be so friendly" Eddie still sees her as a "baby" and does not seem to be able to handle the fact that she is growing up and wants to be noticed by boys. Catherine's character is presented to the audience as happy and confident, but maybe a bit forward. Eddie sees the craving of attention when she is "Walking wavy" like she is of selling her body to the opposite sex. Eddie does not like the fact that the boys "Heads are turnin' like windmills." This conversation takes place early in the first act into the story and already there has been a change in relationship whereby the audience question Eddie being jealous of the younger boys. ...read more.

Middle

We pity Eddie and feel sympathetic as we can foresee tragedy, as it is inevitable. While Eddie is speaking to Alfieri, Eddie makes Rodolpho out to be effeminate as he can sing and sew. Later that evening when Eddie arrives home there is still friction between Eddie and Rodolpho. Catherine resumes annoyed with Eddie so she torments Eddie by playing paper doll on the phonograph and then asks Rodolpho to dance, knowing that this will torment Eddie by seeing the pair together. Rodolpho recognises the tension and tells Catherine that he is too tired to dance, of trying to calm the situation. Beatrice makes Rodolpho get up and dance but Rodolpho can feel "Eddie's eyes on his back." While dancing with Rodolpho, Catherine is flaunting her independence and both Catherine and Beatrice are revolting Eddie. Marco and Rodolpho are deferential and recognise the tension and friction that is in the house. Eddie is still trying to show Rodolpho up and prove to Catherine that Rodolpho is effeminate by having a Masculinity contest of boxing. In the Sicilian community the men are always seen to be big, strong, and able to look after and protect the women. By Eddie hitting Rodolpho he tries to show Rodolpho up and make him look weak. Rodolpho gets his own back by asking Catherine to dance. He becomes provocative once he realises Eddies plan. Eddie humiliated Rodolpho by showing to Catherine he's more masculine and then Rodolpho shows Eddie that he can hit him in the stomach but he is the winner overall because he can still get Catherine. The ending of Act one is poignant and creates more visual and dramatic tension than verbal tension, which has been more common so far in the book. Marco shows Eddie that he will stand up for Rodolpho and uses a "chair like a weapon" and as a silent threat that has more meaning than words. ...read more.

Conclusion

When the climax scene is on stage I do not think the drama on the video is as effective as the stage directions in the script. On the video it all happens very suddenly and you don not get as much feel for the action, as there is not as much suspense created as there is in the script. When reading the script you are able to read the lines and the stage directions slower to make a bigger impact on the climax, whereas on the video it all roles on then it is over. I think Alfieri's speech at the end is very powerful and the way the lights are projected, with Spotlight on Eddie and Beatrice, is very effective. Eddie's death at the end makes the audience pity him. We are sympathetic towards him as his death was futile yet inevitable. Eddie dies a tragic hero and did it out of pure love. Even though we are against what Eddie's doing we still fell a loss. It is an explosive and moving climax with the end picture showing Beatrice with her dead husband because she really did love him and his last words, "My B" show where his heart lies and he love Beatrice. The final paragraph uses poetic language and Alfieri says it in an emotional more than factual tone. Alfieri shows some admiration in his ending speech for Eddie, "I will love him more than all my sensible clients." Alfieri admires Eddie as his heart was in the right place and he didn't settle for half. Alfieri said, "Most of the time now we settle for half, and I like it better." Alfieri can relate to preferring the whole thing then compromising but then he carries on to say, "And yet, it is better to settle for half, it must be!" This shows that if Eddie had compromised he may still be in the last scene. The play closes with the question lingering over the audience, was Eddie's death suicide or just a na�ve misjudgement in the moment of anger? ...read more.

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