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"Describe how Arthur Miller creates an exciting climax for both acts of 'A View from the Bridge'"

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Introduction

Twentieth century drama English coursework "Describe how Arthur Miller creates an exciting climax for both acts of 'A View from the Bridge'" 'A View from the Bridge' by Arthur Miller, is a play about obsession and betrayal. The main character, Eddie Carbone, becomes overprotective over his niece, Catherine, to the degree of infatuation. This obsession helps to cause the break down of Eddie's marriage, as his wife, Beatrice realises the alarming nature of Eddie's fixation. Eddie's feelings for Catherine existed before Beatrice's cousins, Marco and Rodolfo came, but their arrival intensifies the situation, as Eddie becomes more and more jealous of Rodolfo, and of Catherine's love for him. This play is a tragedy and, like most tragedies, it is serious and ends with the death of the main character, Eddie. Eddie dies after betraying his wife's cousins to the immigration bureau. As a result, Marco, who is filled with hatred and in need of justice, stabs him. Arthur Miller was a New Yorker who worked on the Brooklyn docks, for a time. His experience of the docks and of the people around them, led him to write this play, which is set there. During this coursework, my aim is to study the ends of the two acts in depth to see what techniques Miller uses to make them dramatically effective. The last scene of act one (from page 39 when Catherine puts 'paper doll' on the phonograph) ...read more.

Middle

And they may wonder about Beatrice and Eddie's marriage since it appears to be weakening there is no way, however that at this point the audience realise the ending, they are left in suspense. This means that the ending of this act is all the more of a climax; the audience are left teetering on the edge of knowing more but are left to ruminate till the second act. That in itself is enough to explain the way Miller creates of a climax here. The situations that develop in this play would be difficult for anyone to deal with. Eddie finds the situation that he is in especially difficult and consequently he is seriously affected by it. In this play Eddie goes from being a popular man, respected in the community to being a man willing to betray his own family and, in the final scene one prepared to kill. Eddie started by just being over protective of Catherine, which developed into jealousy of Rodolfo because Catherine loved him and this, in turn developed into passionate hatred of both Marco and Rodolfo. Eddie hardly understands what he himself is feeling at the end of the play. These emotional changes are central to Arthur miller's play since they help to cause the chain of events leading up to the final tragic end and are very important in creating interest and drama in the play. ...read more.

Conclusion

Even the women can be blamed in that Beatrice stands by Eddie throughout despite all he does and Catherine is impetuous in her breaking away from Eddie and her marriage to Rodolfo (however both of the women's actions are only really down to their natures rather than specific actions). In summary, Arthur miller builds up to a climax at the end of each of the acts using dramatic tension. The key to Arthur millers excellent build up of tension seems to be giving the audience slight insight into the future of the play so that they can guess as to potential events in the play, but never giving them too much so that the ending is spoilt. The portrayal of characters is very important to this; an audience must be able to understand the character's viewpoints in order to empathise with them and this script is so multi-layered that this is done profoundly by Miller. There are also many turning points in the final scene of the play, these help to maintain the audience's attention by keeping the scene progressing. The techniques Miller uses are both subtle and dramatic so interest is sustained by variety. However, when each event is taken to the bone tension is the key; the audience would never be completely relaxed watching this play, there is always something making you a little unnerved. Be it a glance from a character or a physical statement; all of these are written by Miller in the script, it is really this level of detail which allows the play to portray a story such as it is, tragic and enduring. ...read more.

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