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How Does Miller Create and Maintain Dramatic Tension in A view from the Bridge(TM)?

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Introduction

How Does Miller Create and Maintain Dramatic Tension in 'A view from the Bridge'? Arthur Miller the American playwright wrote 'A View from the Bridge' in 1955. The play is set in the late 1940's after the economic depression in 1930 when people were poorly paid and exploited by their bosses. The play is based on the lives and communities of dock workers and longshoremen who worked on New York's Brooklyn habour where Miller himself had previously worked. The play revolves around Eddie Carbone who is seen as the tragic hero throughout the play and his unadorned Italian family who's lives are made quickly complicated when his wife's two Italian cousins who illegally immigrate to their home in order to earn money (Marco and Rodolfo). The Carbone family consists of : Eddie a straightforward and uncomplicated longshoreman; his wife Beatrice who is down-to-earth; and their niece Catherine who they care for. The play is a bloody tragedy that is developed by Miller using dramatic techniques which climaxes with the pitiful death of Eddie after he betrays the Italian relatives. The two Italian brothers are very different from one another but one similarity that they share is the respect they have for each other. They believe in the ancient " Italian Mafia Code", if you belong to the Mafia then you cannot betray members of your own family. ...read more.

Middle

Miller mounts up the tension in the anticipation of the arrival, the family are excited and anxious about their new arrivals. The cousins arrive in a scene of mixed emotions but are welcomed into the Carbone household. From the stage directions ('enter Marco and Rodolfo, removing their caps.') the audience can see that Marco and Rodolfo are polite men who are unsure of whether things will work out for them under Eddie Carbone's roof. The good spirits of Eddie are short lived when he realises that Catherine finds Rodolfo attractive. The audience know that he doesn't want her to get hurt or leave him behind thus creating more tension. After the arrival of Marco and Rodolfo viewers of the play begin to imagine how life will be in the small house will be with all five characters living together under each other's feet. The prediction that the audience make at this point into the story is that Eddie will get along with Marco as he has yet to offend him, but will have issues with Rodolfo if his "little girl" gets involved with him. In the second part of Act 1 the following events happen; Eddie and Beatrice's relationship is under serious strain when they stop having sex and Beatrice finds herself asking Eddie "when she is gonna be a women again". Meanwhile Eddie becomes infatuated with Catherine and her relationship with Rodolfo, Beatrice becomes aware of this and says to Eddie: ' It's almost three months you don't feel good; they're only here a couple of weeks.' ...read more.

Conclusion

The last quote that Alfieri uses in the play is that : "most of the time no we settle for half and I like it better" In my opinion I think that this is Alfieri's way of telling the moral of the story. If Eddie had only settled for half he would still be alive and the family would be happy, but most importantly of all..., Catherine who he has always been so eager to please. From my essay I have shown how Miller cleverly creates dramatic tension and maintains it throughout his play. The dramatic techniques Miller uses to create this are: his precise stage directions; dramatic irony at the start of the play; and the use of his climatic points. The dramatic irony is important because it means the audience are aware of something that the characters are not. Also, Millers use of climatic points rite through the play generate tension between the characters, he uses this dramatic device wisely by accumulating lots of intense moments. However, I think the most important technique that Miller use to create his dramatic tension is specific stage directions. I think this because it creates an intimate and claustrophobic atmosphere on the set on which the characters live. He creates zones on the stage were the action takes place, this changes the entire atmosphere of the play. These zones that Miller has created make it more intimate and therefore adds dramatic tension. ...read more.

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