Miller creates the tension that climaxes in Eddie’s death by using celebrated melodramatic stage directions. He does it by creating an atmosphere where Beatrice and Catherine are crying, both woman are weeping with culpability and trying their best to stop Eddie from going out and face Marco. Eddie himself is weeping with furore and is vehement to get his esteem back. Even Rodolfo tries to stop him from going out and facing Marco. Rodolfo – “Eddie?” “Marco is coming, Eddie. He’s praying in the church.
You understand? Catherine, I think it is better we go. Come with me.”
Rodolfo almost certainly knows his brother better than anybody. He knows that if Eddie goes out and faces him, he will be dead, so he tries his best to stop Eddie, but Eddie’s furore and ire against Rodolfo makes him completely disregard Rodolfo. Arthur Miller also creates the strain by setting the climax of Eddie’s death in a very precise location, the street outside Eddie’s house.
Exactly the same spot where Marco spat on Eddie’s face. We as audience see in the background lots of people including Louise and Mike, ready to watch Marco and Eddie’s fight. We hear Beatrice and Catherine making last minute efforts to stop Eddie. The actions of the characters also add to the climax of Eddie’s death. For Example, before the fight Eddie is spreading his arms and Marco is doing the same. Eddie’s speech also adds to further tension.
Eddie – “Maybe he come to apologize to me. Heh, Marco? For what you said about me in front of the neighbourhood? He knows that ain’t right. To do like that? To a man? Which I put my roof over their head and my food in their mouth? Like in the bible? Strangers I never seen in my whole life? To come out of the water and grab a girl for a passport? To go and take from your own family like from the stable – and never a word to me? And now accusations in the bargain! Wiping the neighbourhood with my name like a dirty rag! I want my name, Marco. Now gimme my name and we go together to the wedding.” During the time Eddie is giving his speech, his eyes are murderous and he is coming in a fighting stance which should convince audience that both man are blood thirsty for each other.
The climax of the play derives straight from the themes of the play mentioned in Alfierie’s prologue. The themes of the play are justice, loyalty, honour and respect. Eddie’s exhort to get his esteem back from Marco in front of the whole neighbourhood is all about respect described in Alfieri’s prologue. Marco’s aspiration to kill Eddie is all about justice, justice for his wife and children, because without Marco sending them money they will almost certainly die and Marco wants justice for his family by killing Eddie Carbone.
The climax of the play satisfies what audience’s expectations. Audiences had hoped for a clash between Marco and Eddie, since the power shift in the Carbone household, when Marco is holding a chair over Eddie Carbone’s head. However, as the play progressed the rift between Marco and Eddie deepened and when Marco spat on Eddie’s face while being arrested by Immigration Bureau, it became clear to audience that both characters Eddie and Marco, obsessed with the culture of revenge which they inherited from their homeland Italy, were heading for a bloody conflict.
Arthur Miller ends the play with Eddie’s body lying in the centre of the stage with Beatrice and Catherine covering it, Marco stands their with knife in his hand and in the background we hear the prayers of people. We see Alfieri saying – “Most of the time now we settle for half and I like it better. But the truth is holy, and even as I know how wrong he was, and his death useless, I tremble, for I confess that something perversely pure calls to me from his memory – not purely good, but himself purely, for he allowed himself to be wholly known and for what I think I will love him more than all my sensible clients. And yet, it is better to settle for half, it must be! And so I mourn him – I admit it – with a Certain… alarm.”
Miller ends the play with Alfieri explaining that in Italy they would have killed the whole family for this crime, but now they are quiet American, they settle for half, meaning that Eddie’s death is enough for Marco who has virtually lost his whole of his family. There is no doubt that ‘A View from the Bridge’ is a phenomenal play which profoundly manifests Arthur Miller as a proficient knowledgeable dramatist who had a talent of composing tension and dramatic structures. ‘A view from the Bridge’ devours a lot of Millers skill of creating dramatic structure. From the start of the play, from the point when the cousins first arrive in the house, tension begins as Eddie disregards Rodolfo and Embraces Marco.
Throughout the whole play we see tension exceeding and some characters trying tirelessly to ease the tension and calm the household. My personal response to ‘A View from the Bridge’ is that it is a remarkable play which gives you an exceptional insight into the culture and communities of dockworkers and longshoreman of Brooklyn Harbour. It tells the story of Italian American people trying to balance their culture of Loyalty, Honour and Respect with the American views of Justice and settling for half.
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