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How does Miller create tension throughout the play? 'A view from the Bridge' was originally written as a one act play

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Introduction

How does Miller create tension throughout the play? 'A view from the Bridge' was originally written as a one act play first produced in 1955 but it was not very successful so Arthur Miller rewrote it. It was first written in verse but audiences did not respond to it; however it still uses the traditional structures of a Greek Tragedy which the play is based around. Every scene makes its point clearly known and the tension is sustained in a pattern that reflects the sense of inevitability in Eddie's tragedy. But to produce an accurate answer, it is necessary to examine and focus on just two scenes that show how Miller creates tension. The first scene chosen to be examined is when Eddie kisses Catherine and Rodolpho and the second being the Boxing scene when Eddie punches Rodolpho (Both scenes show the rise of tension extremely clearly) Eddie offers to teach Rodolfo to box with the intention to hurt him. Eddie gets Rodolfo to jab at his face. Then Catherine enters the room she says "(with beginning alarm) What are they doin'?" She sees the danger in this. But Beatrice "senses only the comradeship" and lets them get on with it. But then Eddie hit Rodolfo causing him to stagger and Catherine stops the lesson. When Eddie mildly hurts Rodolpho, Miller wants it to be a warning to Rodolpho and to the audience of Eddie's strength and that he is not to be messed with. "Why? I didn't hurt him. ...read more.

Middle

Basically Eddie doesn't think Rodolfo is anything that a man should be. Eddie is not pleased to find Catherine and Rodolfo at home alone together. Catherine seems distressed and frightened at Eddie's behaviour towards her. This is when she becomes rather tearful. Catherine is bold enough to stand up to Eddie but Eddie suddenly grabs her and kisses her on the mouth. Rodolfo jumps to Catherine's rescue by yelling at Eddie and forcing him to let go of Catherine. Rodolfo then flies at Eddie in attack and then Eddie pins his arms, laughing and suddenly kisses him. Catherine is raged at Eddie's behaviour; she is horrified by what he did. Rodolfo is rigid. Both Eddie and Rodolfo are like animals torn at one another and broken up without decision, each waiting for the other's mood. The tensions being explored in this scene are the ones between Eddie and Rodolfo and also the tensions between Catherine and Eddie. Eddie kisses Catherine because he is sexually attracted to her. There is proof of this in the beginning of the play when Eddie says 'you been giving me the willies the way you walk down the street, I mean it'. Kissing Catherine could be something that Eddie has been waiting to do for a while. Eddie's obsession with Catherine is something he is not able to recognize or understand for himself. Instead he focuses all his anger and frustration on Rodolfo. Rodolfo has no responsibilities and has a more frivolous, light-hearted attitude towards life. ...read more.

Conclusion

Eddie is jealous of Rodolfo because Rodolfo is young and Catherine is in love with him. Eddie is being selfish; he wants to have Catherine all to himself. He doesn't want her to grow up or to have a life of her own with anyone especially not Rodolfo. Arthur Miller uses stage directions very well because it builds up a dramatic tension for what is about to happen in the scene. He uses this when Eddie kisses both Catherine and Rodolfo! He also uses exclamation marks after what has been said in a dramatic moment. It is used to emphasise the dramatic tension or command effect of what is being said. In conclusion Miller uses many techniques to create tension throughout the play, and he was very successful in doing so and that is why the play appealed to so many people at the time, and still appeals to people nowadays. This act of manliness and the hostile behaviour from some characters towards others lead to aggression, which at the end, tend to escalate as we find out from the happenings at the end of the play. The hostile behaviour used throughout he play lead to death and destruction of a happy family. Eddie was not afraid of showing the two immigrants exactly how he felt about them and this finally lead to the downfall of him losing his social identity and of his death in the end. ?? ?? ?? ?? Rob Shanley 08/05/2007 'A View From The Bridge' ...read more.

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