• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What different types of tension exist within Arthur Miller's 'A View From The Bridge' and how does the playwright create these tensions?

Extracts from this document...


What different types of tension exist within Arthur Miller's 'A View From The Bridge' and how does the playwright create these tensions? In the very title of the play, there is some tension and suspense emerging already. The name 'A View From The Bridge' suggests that it is not a physical view, more a metaphor for Alfieri's (Miller's engaged narrator) role in the play. It suggests to me that he has an overview of what happens and absolutely no control over the events that occur throughout the duration of the play, which creates a kind of tension that has a fairly clear outcome, but the means, pace and devices used to construct the end is unknown. This is very similar to the type of tension used in Greek mythology, whereby many people were aware of the end, but did not have any knowledge of the play's climax. This play, written by Arthur Miller was first performed circa 1956 as a two-act performance. In this production, there are many types of tension; climatic tension, tension of discovery, the inevitable end, the stipulations of the Sicilian Code of Conduct, Eddie as a sympathetic character and the triangular relationship between Eddie, Catherine and Rodolfo, and Beatrice. There is a significant amount of climatic tension in this play with some even in the title, as previously shown. The first notable point in the play comes in Alfieri's introduction of the play: "This ones name was Eddie Carbone..." Here Alfieri speaks in an oracular tone of voice and also refers to Eddie in the past tense suggesting he does not exist anymore. The next notable point is when Alfieri says: "...watched it run its bloody course." Which implies that there is going to be bloodshed somewhere in the play, and to the main character as is usually the case in most tragedies. More tension is inserted into the play about halfway through act-one, after the cousins who enter illegally (Marco & Rodolfo) ...read more.


The end of their (Alfieri and Eddie's) conversation, brings about some more 'Alfieri Speech' which is crucial to the plot, and point the audience in the direction of the end, has now made the ending fairly obvious, and to a conscious audience, the ending should be within sight. The text that does is the following, all spoken by Alfieri: "I could see every step coming, step after step, take a dark figure walking down a hall to a certain door. I knew where he was heading for, I knew where he was going to end. And I sat here many afternoons asking myself why, being an intelligent man, I was so powerless to stop it. I even went to a certain old lady in the neighbourhood, a very wise old woman, and I told her, and she only nodded, and said, 'Pray for him...' That text suggest that Alfieri is perhaps going to repent for Eddie, knowing that his actions are driven by his emotions, and suggests that Eddie's actions are not going to help him in any way. I think this is because people quite often associate prayer with death, especially since Eddie is most likely Catholic, and so is Alfieri and everyone in Eddie's vicinity, and since it has been known for Catholics to pray in times of need, here it may also be the case. A very significant occurrence is when after the second meeting with Alfieri. Eddie exits the office and is looking suspicious and nervous. The stage directions cause the audience to have their attention focused on the phone, which then begins to glow, suggesting it's imminent use. By this time, it is clear that Eddie is about to use the phone to contact the immigration. The ending has now become very clear, and may also remove the mystery of Eddie's demise, for breaking the Sicilian Code of Conduct. ...read more.


In the end, I think is no one person's fault. I think it is the fault of all three parties. Catherine, because she is to na�ve to know what she is doing, and cannot see through Beatrice's advice, Eddie for being too overprotective and getting too involved, and Beatrice, for wanting Catherine gone for all the wrong reasons. With all this, I think it is all the deceit and selfish motivation that accompanies a dysfunctional family that sees the Carbone family on their knees. In conclusion, Arthur Miller uses many types of tension in his play 'A View From The Bridge': climatic tension, dedicated to keeping the middle unknown; tension of discovery, to keep the play fresh with plenty of plot twists, and to keep the character's personas mysterious, the Sicilian Code of Conduct to keep the play within the same era, and to put his knowledge to good use, Eddie as a sympathetic character to keep the audience engrossed and to exploit one of the most fascinating human traits, and the triangular relationship between Eddie, Catherine and Rodolfo and Beatrice to show how easily a nuclear family can be dissolved by the introduction of a stranger who is welcomed with mixed opinions, much like a specie from a different ecosystem being introduced to a new one. Interestingly, with regard to the opinions, each member of the family represents a different opinion; Eddie represents the negative extremity (by wanting Rodolfo gone), Catherine the positive extremity (wanting to marry Rodolfo), and Beatrice who is neutral (doesn't mind, just wants Catherine gone). All these kinds of tension help to portray what happens when strangers enter a close-knit family which has mixed opinions, and that when pushed hard enough, people will forgo almost anything to protect their loved ones; their beliefs, their life, even if it really is all for the sake of self justified pride and dignity. To summarise it in one sentence, it basically says, "Welcome to the human condition." ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Arthur Miller section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Arthur Miller essays

  1. How does Arthur Miller build up tension in Act 1 of 'A view from ...

    Eddie is clearly distressed - he was 'like a stranger'. Eddie desperately does everything he can to try to convince Alfieri to lawfully get rid of Rodolpho. Eddies use of language has also become stronger. He swears and uses derogatory language about Rodolpho, a 'son-of-a-bitch punk' and a 'goddam thief!'

  2. Why and How Does Eddie Carbone Change As The Play Progresses? What Leads to ...

    Miller is showing us how helpless Eddie has become. Alfieri tells the tale of Eddie as if he's a legend. This shows that by following Alfieri's clues, we would find out Eddie's demise. Miller uses Alfieri as the narrator and a character in the play. He appears in vital points, predicting an outcome, summarising the action and giving personal views on the characters and events.

  1. How does Miller create tension at the end of act 1 of "A view ...

    That shows how the tension in the house is still there, but Rodolfo is trying to even it out. Eddie says to Marco about how he thought they painted the oranges orange, and that they actually grow green. Marco very bluntly replies, "No, in Italy the oranges are orange."

  2. How Does Arthur Miller Create Tension in a View from the Bridge

    The most important and effective way Arthur Miller builds tension, is through the use of dramatic devices (stage directions and movement). At the end of Act one, when Marco towers above Eddie with a chair. "The chair raised like a weapon above Eddies head."

  1. Examine the effectiveness of the ending of 'A View from the Bridge' by A. ...

    advice Eddie receives from Alfieri, he ignores the advice and chooses to deal with it his own way by breaking the neighbourhood code of honour. Alfieri as a character feels he can no longer change Eddie's mind and feels rather powerless at this time.

  2. A View From the Bridge - The whole of this play involves symbolism, on ...

    The action of the play takes place largely in an apartment in a tenement block in the Red Hook area of Brooklyn.coac acr seacacw orac ack inac foac ac. In the play, Alfieri, the lawyer, describes the area as:coec ecr seececw orec eck inec foec ec!

  1. A view from the bridge - how does arthur miller create tension

    "But I don't think you want to do anything about that". Alfieri admittedly cannot help Eddie, but must powerlessly watch the tragic events unfold before him. Alfieri tells us about how he is so disturbed, that he consults a wise old woman, who tells him to pray for Eddie.

  2. How Does The Audience's Opinion Of Eddie Change Throughout The Play "A View From ...

    Eddie denounces that idea swiftly. They get onto an argument as Alfieri is trying to get Eddie to understand that he cannot have Catherine and that he has to let her go. Now, the audience can see that Eddie is very possessive over Catherine.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work