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Throughout A View from the Bridge, Arthur Miller creates and sustains dramatic tension to keep the audience's attention. He also uses dramatic tension to guide and provoke the audience's thoughts and responses towards A View from the Bridge

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Introduction

Discussing the importance of dramatic tension within A View from the Bridge Throughout A View from the Bridge, Arthur Miller creates and sustains dramatic tension to keep the audience's attention. He also uses dramatic tension to guide and provoke the audience's thoughts and responses towards A View from the Bridge. He does this by using different techniques, for example, posing unanswered questions in the audience's mind and using dramatic pauses. Arthur Miller also controls the amount of tension between the characters to create highs and lows in the plot on stage, but in fact could effectively raise the awareness of the audience of the underlying tension suppressed between the characters. A View from the Bridge in told a series of flashback in the point of view of Alfieri, the lawyer and the narrator of the play. In the beginning of the play, he already mentions that the course of events are not pleasant in his opening speech: "...as powerless as I, and watched it run its bloody course." This prepares the audience for the opening of the play, in which we immediately the primary cause of tension in the play, Eddie's over-protection of Catherine when they discuss a job opportunity as he says: "You're a baby, you don't understand these things." This clearly shows his underestimation of Catherine and the whole conversation shows his affection and self-inflicted responsibility for Catherine. This continues throughout Act I despite Catherine's growth in character, as there are many accounts of conflict between Eddie and Beatrice and between Eddie and Rodolfo over Rodolfo and Catherine's relationship. Eddie shows his contempt for Rodolfo by saying: "He don't respect you...he's only bowin' to his passport." Eddie is against Catherine and Rodolfo's relationship, and ends up arguing with everyone over it, including his much-loved niece. He tries at every chance to criticise Rodolfo, who he doesn't trust to be able to love Catherine like he does. ...read more.

Middle

Eddie remains extremely self-controlled in reaction to this, and tries to start small talk again. Nevertheless, Marco mentions Rodolfo's cooking skills without any bad intention, but sparks off Eddie again, who is still desperately trying to restrain his anger. He makes snide remarks about Rodolfo, and everyone detects the sarcasm in the praises he makes, and also his tension: [He has been unconsciously twisting he newspaper into a tight roll. They are all regarding him now;] Eddie twisting the newspaper communicates wordlessly to both the other characters and the audience that he is holding back his frustration, as Rodolfo turns off Paper Doll and the whole family watches Eddie who is pressured into completing his point. The twisting of the newspaper can be interpreted in many ways, the most simple is that Eddie is under a lot of pressure and that he is very frustrated but refuses to show it. This act of body language is subconscious and exposes a lot about Eddie to the audience, forming a very tense atmosphere. When Eddie finally snaps the newspaper, this shows the force he has been exerting on the newspaper, and the snapping of the newspaper also symbolises the snapping of Eddie's patience. Here, he once again reverts to seemingly harmless small talk, suggesting that they go boxing. He teasingly calls Rodolfo "Danish". This seems friendly, but in fact, Eddie seems to be teasing Rodolfo of his blond hair. While Eddie is teaching Rodolfo to box, Eddie is lulling Beatrice, Catherine and Rodolfo into a false sense of security. However, the audience should be aware of Eddie's false friendliness. Beatrice's ignorance of the situation is shown by stage direction: [she senses only comradeship in it now] The ignorance of Beatrice almost indicates to he audience that the boxing is anything but comradeship, but Beatrice has been yearning so long for peace, that now there is the slightest sign of it, she is going to make the most of it and hope to prolong it. ...read more.

Conclusion

Why Eddie kisses Rodolfo is revealed later when Edie says to Catherine later: "You see?" Somehow, Eddie is trying to prove that Rodolfo "ain't right". However, he has not managed to prove to anybody, neither Catherine nor the audience, anything. All he has done is ruin the relationship with another character in the play- Catherine. Following, Eddie tries to pressure Rodolfo to leave by marking his territory, shouting and giving loud orders: "I give you till tomorrow, kid. Get outa here. Alone. You hear me? Alone." This marks Eddie's final release on tension towards Rodolfo, doing what he wanted all along, proving he is a homosexual and getting him out of his house. It also shows that he knows Catherine would want to follow him, so he emphasizes the fact that he should leave "alone". Arthur Miller also uses threats towards Rodolfo to intimidate him and the audience: "Just get outta here and don't lay another hand on her unless you wanna go out feet first." This threat seems to imply Eddie want s to kill Rodolfo, or at least injure him badly. Arthur Miller uses this to intimidate the audience as well, bringing the scene to a dramatic close. A View from the Bridge is mainly built upon tension to sustain the audience's interest, and this is reflected in Arthur Miller's choice of title. The bridge is supposedly the Brooklyn Bridge, where the play is set near by, but more importantly, because the story is told in the view point of Alfieri. Alfieri, as a lawyer and the narrator of the story, has a very middle and unbiased view of the plot. A bridge is built to connect two areas without bias, like Alfieri's viewpoint of the story. Another interpretation is that a bridge is built on a certain amount of tension, like the story, and perhaps is the best interpretation for a play that relies so much on tension to function and structure. 1 ...read more.

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