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Eddie's Actions at 'A View from the Bridge' by Arthur Miller

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 9 (2191 words)
Categories: Character, Literature, Plays
Downloads: 47
Views: 153

This may have been done because it is what Eddie has dreamed of all along, and this was his first excuse to. However, we never know if Eddie wants Catherine sexually or not, but there are things that occur throughout the play to suggest he does. There is sexual tension between the two, such as when at the beginning of the play, when Catherine goes and gets his cigar for him, and lights it for him.

This shows the intimacy between the two and could be look upon as a sexual act. The shocking part to us is that after Eddie kisses Catherine, he then turns to Rodolfo, pins him down and kisses him too.

Eddie only does this to prove to Catherine in some way that he is gay, and also to humiliate him in front of Catherine. Finally, also jealousy motivates Eddie to doing this outrageous and terrible thing because he was jealous of Rodolfo and Catherine’s relationship.

When he kissed Catherine and Rodolfo “he kisses her on the mouth” and “and suddenly kisses him” I think he does this because he is jealous of what they have together, because of this Eddie thinks that Rodolfo is gay.

Eddie thinks if he kisses Rodolfo, Catherine might realise that he is gay. Eddie is jealous because he knows he can not have her so he try’s to make sure no one else can but he does not succeed he just drives her away from him. Miller’s stage directions here deliberately compare the two of them to animals fighting each other for the domination of the female, and also for superiority. Eddie’s actions towards Rodolfo (the kiss) and physical attack is pure animal behaviour. The whole of this play involves symbolism, on many different levels.

The end scene, in which Eddie takes his own life with his own knife is symbolic of the self-destructive nature that led to such an ending. As Arthur Miller wished to write ‘a modern Greek tragedyi?? it is likely that the symbolism of the dagger is Eddiei?? s sexuality, which drove him to his drastic actions and eventually death. During the confrontation earlier in the play Marco raised a chair like a weapon, symbolic of the fight yet to come. Rudolpho danced with Catherine when she had previously been attending to Eddie, symbolic of him taking her from Eddie?

s life. Since this play is supposed to be a modern version of a Greek tragedy, tragic events take place throughout the play. The idea of coming doom is something that is threatening to happen, and throughout this essay, I will go into depth about how Arthur Miller created this atmosphere through his written language and stage directions. This thrilling and tragic drama is about incestuous love, jealousy and betrayal. I think the phone box on stage is interesting. It is there from the start of the play, but it is only lit after the second lawyer scene.

Alfieri realises that Eddie is a desperate man. So desperate, he’ll do anything. In the first lawyer scene, Alfieri told Eddie that the only option in the law he had was the way in which the cousins entered the country. It is at this point that Eddie realises it is the only way he can stop the marriage. Alfieri knows that Eddie loves Catherine in a way he shouldn’t, but Eddie won’t admit it. He thinks that Rodolfo must be in the wrong, because all the other alternatives are too painful for him. It is at this point in the play that the phone box starts to glow.

In the past, the phone box has represented the outside world. It is introduced slowly, with Alfieri trying to discourage Eddie between each stage direction to make it brighter. The rate at which it is shown to the audience give them time to think about what it could mean. By the time they’ve worked it out, Eddie is walking out of the office for the last time, and the phone box is the only lit item on stage. The scene with much dramatic irony starts with Eddie’s speech on page 54, just before the immigration officers enter the apartment.

A sudden intrusion into any scene, in any play can cause tension, but in “A view from the Bridge” all of the characters know, or suspect, that it was Eddie who called for the Immigration officers, so dramatic tension is raised even more. It ends when the officers take Marco and Rodolfo. In this scene tension is raised to a peak, and the relationship between Beatrice and Eddie is stretched, as is the relationship between Eddie and Catherine. Earlier in the play we see Eddie call the immigration bureau, however, when the officers arrive, he tries to deny all knowledge of calling for them.

“Where’s who? ” and “We’ve got nobody here” are just two examples. This is quite ironic as he intended to get rid of his rivals once and for all, but he must have changed his mind when he saw Beatrice’s reaction to this, Miller includes the “Pause of darkness” to illustrate Eddie’s confused mental state as well as the approaching doom that has befell him. The ‘darkness’ truly illustrates the dramatic shift in the play, and in Eddie’s fortunes. From being a confident, honourable and hard working man to someone who is losing respect in his marriage, family, and the community.

Eddie is now threatening to kill Marco for accusing him of betraying them. He also realizes that the entire neighbourhood knows that he called the Immigration Bureau and betrayed the Italians thus breaking the code of honour. When everyone walks away from him, and he calls out their names to no avail. This shows Eddies increasing desperation. The dramatic tension rises at a very sharp rate in a matter of lines. “For Christ’s sake, I kept them, I gave them blankets off my bed! , Arthur miller has used subtext, so that what Eddie is really trying to do is convince people that he did not call for the immigration and betray the others.

The end of the play is somewhat ironic. It is a Greek tragedy, the phone that has been on stage since the beginning of the play now comes into use, and is of course used for Eddie to ring the immigration officer and report Eddie and Marco. The introduction of the immigration officers is ironic as previously Eddie spoke to Beatrice and Catherine about a story of a boy who told of his family members staying illegally in his house, this was especially hypocritical of Eddie as he was warning Catherine and Beatrice what would happen to them if they were to tell.

His emphasis on their silence can be shown by the stage direction (“Eddie suppose somebody asks if they’re living here”) ‘He looks at her as though already she had divulges something publicly. Defensively. ‘ In this play, the stage directions are very important as they give the movement and life to characters, and also allow further expressions through movement. It gives the audience a clearer view of positions on stage, social and physical, “She hurries out. There is a slight pause, and Eddie turns to Beatrice, who has been avoiding his gaze.

” This is particularly important to this play as it reveals how Beatrice feels towards Eddie at the time and although she respects him, she is now deeply concerned over his thoughts and actions. For a second time in the play we see Catherine choose Rodolfo over Eddie, as she “throws herself into Rodolfo’s arms. ” Simple words like enraged (Eddies reaction) in the stage direction add emotion to the characters, increasing tension to an extraordinary high. ‘Accusingly’ in Marco’s reaction, yet another example of how powerful stage directions can be.

As the audience does not see the stage directions, this all depends on the ability of the actors. Even a simple gesture, such as a hand held up to stop a person talking, can increase tension, and in my chosen scene there is plenty of evidence of this. Marco and Rodolfo are led off the stage, whilst the audience is left pondering what Eddies next action will be. Amazingly, the simplest turn from Lipari (the butcher) and his wife can anger Eddie even more than the thought of Catherine and Rodolfo being together. “Lipari!

For Christ’s sake,… ” is all that Eddie can say, trying to regain friendship, unsuccessfully. Where this occurs, the tension has dropped since Marco and Rodolfo’s departure, but leaves the audience hanging as Alfieri appears, almost as if just the image of him reminds us of his warning, “you won’t have a friend in the world, Eddie!… even the ones who feel the same will despise you! Put it out of your mind! Eddie! ” Marco and Rodolfo’s arrival signals the start of the turning point in Catherine and Eddie’s relationship.

Eddie’s open greeting to Beatrice’s cousin’s reveal his warm and confident character. Marco shows he has a lot of respect for Eddie and reflects this by thanking people frequently, quietening his brother and refusing food. He is keen to avoid taking liberties whereas; Rodolfo is excitable and less mature. There is also contrast in the physical appearance of the brothers, “He’s practically blonde,” This is Catherine and Beatrice’s surprised reaction. The brothers’ background is important, as it reflects how they act towards other people and their surroundings.

“In our town there are no piers only the beach and little fishing boats,” this now shows us that as poor peasants looking for work they will have high expectations of America, “The New Colossus. ” To summarise the play we need to understand why the action took the course it did. We know from the start that Eddie brought up Catherine in perhaps the wrong way, it is displayed throughout the play and although she fostered his feelings, he could have changed. To begin with Catherine had a lot of respect for Eddie adopting her but she realises herself through Eddies continuous jealous actions, he is wrong.

I personally feel as a play, Arthur Miller created Catherine to act this way as a sympathy tool for the audience, by including her, the audience can relate to her and easily distinguish the so called “good and bad” characters of the play. The characters actions are only brought around by love and it is this that fuels the violence. Catherine’s love for Rodolfo is real but as Eddie indicated, I feel that she is perhaps just taking the first man she can, to become more independent. She has love for Eddie as a father, but this is soon smashed by his jealous actions.

Eddie loves Beatrice as his wife struggled to have only “fatherly” love for Catherine. Beatrice always loved Eddie but this is complicated by his feelings for Catherine. We even see Marco has genuine love for his family, not just in helping his brother but also by his intentions to help his family back home. At this stage, the audience suddenly realize Eddie’s changing character. Eddie visits Alfieri again and it reveals how helpless he is and that this is a last desperate attempt to prevent them getting married.

A striking simile here is “His eyes were like tunnels” this phrase could resemble a missing fulfilment in Eddie’s life or perhaps a terrible sense of danger waiting to be released. Alfieri becomes irritated at Eddies persistence, “morally and legally you have no rights. ” This only makes Eddie more frustrated by the lack of legal rights to intervene. The only option he can see is to call the immigration office reporting Beatrice’s cousins. This connects ironically back to Italian code of honour where no one should betray anyone else. We see how Eddie’s character has now changed, “get them out.

” He constantly worries about the two immigrants from Lipari’s family, as this will increase knowledge of what he has done. Up to the entrance of the immigrant officers Eddie becomes understandably more frantic, Catherine and Beatrice could seem a little nai?? ve, “She stands a moment in realised horror. ” They only realised what has happened at the point of the officer’s entrance, which astonishes them. Marco is also shocked, “he spits into Eddies face. ” This shows his disgust; Eddie does not seem to understand the concept of natural law, though when it is being used on him, “Oh, you mothers-!

” He is also threatening, “I’ll kill you for that. ” Although it is just a play it is still shocking to read how outrageous his response to Marco’s action are, and how from now all Eddies vengeful feelings are directed to Marco, instead of Rodolfo. Now that the immediate neighbourhood have been alerted, Marco sees this as the ideal opportunity to take further revenge by exposing what Eddie has done, “That one, he killed my children! ” although he changes the truth his accusation is still just as shocking. This obviously has a powerful effect as everyone now turns their backs physically and mentally leaving Eddie by himself in shame.

Cite this essay

Eddie’s Actions at ‘A View from the Bridge’ by Arthur Miller. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/eddies-actions-at-a-view-from-the-bridge-by-arthur-miller-essay

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