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Dramatic tension in a view from a bridge

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How does Arthur Miller build tension in "A view from the bridge"? In Act One, the social context of the characters is displayed. They come from a working class background, and they're immigrants from Italy. Eddie, the main male role in the play, works at a dockyard, unloading ships. Beatrice, his wife, stays at home cooking and cleaning in a classic "housewife" way. Their niece, Catharine, lives with them in their apartment. Marco and Rodolpho live with them in the apartment when they arrive from Italy. They are illegal immigrants and they have to hide from the police. At the start, there is tension between Beatrice and Eddie, perhaps due to the fact that Eddie and Catherine are quite close, and "Play at being lovers", in a way. Miller hints at this by writing about slightly sexual things, such as Catherine taking Eddie's cigar and lighting it for him, which in the past signified sexual attraction. ...read more.


After she says this, Eddie mentions the fact that Marco does not sing at all. When Beatrice says to Eddie, "When am I gonna be a wife again?" This line is used to make a point of Eddie's very strong desire for Catherine. When Catherine and Rodolpho return from their date, Eddie insists on talking to Catherine by herself. He warns her that Rodolpho is only being nice to her so that he can get a passport and become a legal immigrant. More tension is built between Catherine and Eddie as a result of this, and as a result, Eddie leaves Catherine with Beatrice to "Straighten her out". This happens, but in a different way to what Eddie would have preferred, as Beatrice advises Catherine to become more independent, which is not what Eddie wants. As a result, more tension between the main characters is created because of the fact that Catherine is not acting to Eddie's will. ...read more.


This is partly due to Miller's description of the amount of effort that Eddie puts into lifting the chair, with him lifting it above his head "Like a weapon", symbolizing Rodolpho's punishment, and how easy Marco makes it look while at the same time humiliating Eddie. This, in a way neutralizes the only method Eddie can use against Rodolpho (Violence). This section shifts the tension from Eddie and Rodolpho to Eddie and Marco. The whole ending to Act One is choreographed by Miller in such a way as to show Marco plays a bigger part than thought at first.Miller's language during the whole act makes good use of metaphor and descriptive techniques as well as stage directions "[During the part where Eddie is teaching Rodolpho to box] He [Eddie] feints with his left hand and lands with his right. It mildly staggers Rodolpho. Marco rises."To bui ld tension between the cast, and makes the play very tense and suspense-filled By Amesh Elango 11G ...read more.

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