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Discuss the importance of stage directions in Arthur Millers "a View from the Bridge" and what they reveal about the character of Eddie Carbone.

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Introduction

Camilla Bishti 4E3 Discuss the importance of stage directions in Arthur Millers "a View from the Bridge" and what they reveal about the character of Eddie Carbone. In all plays there are stage directions, which is very important in drama. Stage directions allow the actors and directors acting out the play to follow a certain way of doing things, and to let the actors know when to come off and on stage but more importantly what to look like, act like, how to deliver lines and even what lighting and sound is need at certain times. Miller's stage directions are very detailed in the way that he writes almost every emotions or movement that he wants the actors to do, that makes the actors more and more like the actual characters, and leaves them with no room to explore. Miller obviously wants his play to be exactly how he dreamed it, and to follow a 'list of rules'. The effect that Miller's stage directions have on the actors and directors is enormous. It could be thought of as an advantage, because the actors know exactly what to do, and it is very simple to follow, or as a disadvantage because the actors and directors can not add in their own personality and artistic touches. Miller's stage directions effect Eddie's attitude because even if he is affected inside, he will never show it due to him being the man of the household. The Sicilian code of conduct, which consists of various unwritten laws of loyalty and justice to your family. Miller includes the Sicilian code of conduct in the play, which gives Eddie the 'hard man' kind of attitude, and not letting his true feelings show. Miller's stage directions are absolutely crucial in the play because they are the only things that reveal Eddie's emotions that are hidden behind his hard Italian attitude. The Sicilian background is one of the most important things that motivates Eddie. ...read more.

Middle

At this point in the play Eddie is making fun of Rodolfo, and trying to say in the nicest way possible that Rodolfo is gay. To Eddie the fact that a man can sing, cook and make dresses makes him gay. Eddie then invites Marco and Rodolfo to see a fight with him and uses this opportunity to 'teach' Rodolfo how to fight. It is obvious to the audience that Eddie uses this as an excuse to take his anger out on Rodolfo, and punch him. The stage direction: 'He has bent the rolled paper and suddenly it tears in two' shows that there was a lot of tension building up as he thinks about Rodolfo and watches him dance with Catherine. There are then many stage directions to show that Eddie knows what he is about to do, or in fact has planned it, one of the most effective is him pulling up his trousers which symbolises the fact that Eddie 'means business' and this makes him feel very powerful 'He is weirdly elates, rubbing his fists in his palms' Once Eddie starts teaching Rodolfo some moves he lets Rodolfo hit him lightly, then again takes advantage of the opportunity and punches Rodolfo hard. As soon as this happens there is an immediate shift in power, from Eddie to Marco. We can see this from the stage direction straight after the hit: '...it staggers Rodolfo. Marco rises' After this Eddie goes back to his chair, as he always does to avoid an awkward situation. However Marco will not take the fact that someone just hit his little brother, and you could say that he is now picking up the dominant role, and following the Sicilian code, which is that you must look after your family. Marco take things further, and insults Eddie in the worst way, by showing him up, and proving how strong he is. ...read more.

Conclusion

At this stage, the audience suddenly realize Eddie's changing character. Eddie visits Alfieri again and it reveals how helpless he is and that this is a last desperate attempt to prevent them getting married. A striking simile here is "His eyes were like tunnels" this phrase could resemble a missing fulfilment in Eddie's life or perhaps a terrible sense of danger waiting to be released. Alfieri becomes irritated at Eddies persistence, "morally and legally you have no rights." This only makes Eddie more frustrated by the lack of legal rights to intervene. The only option he can see is to call the immigration office reporting Beatrice's cousins. This connects ironically back to Italian code of honour where no one should betray anyone else. We see how Eddie's character has now changed, "get them out." He constantly worries about the two immigrants from Lipari's family, as this will increase knowledge of what he has done. Up to the entrance of the immigrant officers Eddie becomes understandably more frantic, Catherine and Beatrice could seem a little na�ve, "She stands a moment in realised horror." They only realised what has happened at the point of the officer's entrance, which astonishes them. Marco is also shocked, "he spits into Eddies face." This shows his disgust; Eddie does not seem to understand the concept of natural law, though when it is being used on him, "Oh, you mothers-!" He is also threatening, "I'll kill you for that." Although it is just a play it is still shocking to read how outrageous his response to Marco's action are, and how from now all Eddies vengeful feelings are directed to Marco, instead of Rodolfo. Now that the immediate neighbourhood have been alerted, Marco sees this as the ideal opportunity to take further revenge by exposing what Eddie has done, "That one, he killed my children!" although he changes the truth his accusation is still just as shocking. This obviously has a powerful effect as everyone now turns their backs physically and mentally leaving Eddie by himself in shame. 1 ...read more.

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