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Damatic Impact in A View From the Bridge

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Introduction

'A View from the Bridge' Examine the dramatic impact of the end of Act One-the trial of strength between Eddie and Marco. How does Miller create tension in this scene and how is the audience prepared for the inevitable tragedy? 'All law is not in a book'. Marco certainly believes this, but can someone from our society accept any form of murder? In the Sicily of the 1950's, a man would be seen as a coward if he failed to act against a man who dishonoured his family. It is this theme of honour and name which presents itself in 'A View from a Bridge' and helps to raise tension and dramatic impact. The tension builds up gradually throughout the play and culminates in the climactic and tragic ending where Eddie Carbone is murdered for no understandable reason. This tragedy occurred not in the home country of Marco and Rodolpho, but in America; the land of opportunity and freedom; where murder is not acceptable retribution. In many ways, 'A view from a Bridge' follows the traditions of Greek tragedy, where the protagonist's (Eddie Carbone's) downfall is brought about through a fatal flaw in his character. ...read more.

Middle

At the beginning of the scene leading to the trial of strength between Eddie and Marco, the characters begin to discuss the difference in culture. Catherine mentions that she finds it funny to think that oranges and lemons grow on trees. Here the stage directions are important in creating tension because they specifically state that Eddie makes his comment 'to Marco'. This shows the audience that Eddie is trying to ignore Rodolpho and exclude him from all conversation; a line later Rodolpho says 'lemons are green', trying to include himself in the conversation and break the uncomfortable barrier around him. Eddie sees this as Rodolpho trying to make him look stupid and we can see that the tension is almost at its peak at this point. Eddie quickly snaps back with an intimidating remark. The stage directions clearly show him 'resenting his instruction'. The audience is once again prepared for the climax of the act. As well as this, the conflict in cultures has already raised tension earlier in the play, when Rodolpho makes a remark that girls are perhaps 'freer' in America than in Italy. This makes Eddie angry and raises another reason for him to dislike Rodolpho and think that he only wants to marry Catherine to become a legal American citizen. ...read more.

Conclusion

This trial of strength makes the end of the play inevitable. It echoes the final scene because both dramatic scenes show Eddie and Marco standing up for what they believe in. The trial prepares the audience for this ending because it shows them how important family and honour are to these two men. They can now see the tension between Marco and Eddie. Both men would kill to protect the honour of their name. The audience now expect a confrontation in the next act which may lead to more serious consequences. So in 'A view from the bridge', the characters each play a vital role and in turn contribute to the inevitable tragic ending expected from the very beginning. The end of Act One has been written to show the audience just how much tension there is hiding beneath the surface. The body language between the characters written in the stage directions, and the inventive link with Greek tragedy are certainly just two of the many clever aspects of this play which make it such a carefully crafted work of art. Just as Alfieri, whilst watching the play, the audience, and indeed myself as an onlooker, 'could see every step coming, step after step, like a dark figure walking down a hall towards a certain door'. ?? ?? ?? ?? Page 1 ...read more.

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