Greek tragedy Essay
‘A view from the bridge” was written by Arthur Miller in 1947. Arthur Miller uses a range of dramatic techniques effectively throughout the play to create tension and suspense, but particularly in the climax at the beginning of Act 2. These dramatic effects consist of; Stage direction, Greek tragedy, Foregrounding, Scenery, actions such as tension and climax and finally dramatic irony. In a view from the bridge, the central themes are, love, justice, family, the law and codes of honour.
Together, they increase the characters development, so as an audience we empathise with the characters personal views, thoughts and opinions. Dramatic irony, is when the audience knows what is going to happen before the Protagonist is embedded within the text. An example of dramatic irony in the play is when Eddie returns home drunk whilst Catherine and Rodolpho are upstairs in the bedroom making love. This creates tension and suspense between the characters and also the audience, as we already know of Eddie’s hatred for Rodolpho because of Catherine’s loving feelings towards him.
Arthur Miller’s use of the specific elements of a ‘Greek Tragedy’ make the play extremely intense. The rules of a Greek tragedy consist of; “A protagonist which dies at the end of the play” The protagonist is clearly Eddie, as he is the central character and also sadly dies at the end of the play, he is brutally killed by Marco. “A chorus is also needed in a Greek tragedy, The chorus explains and narrates the plot” The chorus in the play is Alfieri as he is the commentator, he sets the scenes dramatically and also informs you what is going to happen in the upcoming scene/section.
“The protagonist is essentially good but his/her fate is sealed by a central flaws in character” This is briefly reflected towards Eddie, as he was loving caring and protective over Catherine to start of with. He states-“Now don’t aggravate me Katie, your walking wavy! “- This makes Eddie seem secretly obsessed with Catherine as it looks like Eddie does not want Catherine to grow up, by not letting her dress up like a normal eighteen year old girl would.
“Before the death of the hero, he has a moment of self understanding”-Eddie gets stabbed by Marco in the end of the play, but before he dies he has a personal moment of self-understanding and forgiveness. Eddie, Beatrice and Catherine share their last goodbyes, publicly. Eddie finally states-“My B! ” It sounds as if he wants her to forgive him for all the trouble and rebellion he has caused, Over something he could of easily let go of, but sadly didn’t. This is an emotional time for the cast and audience as Eddie’s death was not expected, especially by Marco.
“The audience feels both empathy and dislike for the hero at different points. “-At times Eddie can release anger, frustration and annoyance towards the audience and characters, by doing this Eddie loses his empathy from the audience. Eddie starts off with physical conflict with Rodolpho. This creates a lot of tension, with each scene of conflict becoming more intense than the one that preceded it. The tense atmosphere during the boxing scene at the end of Act One expresses Eddie’s secret jealousy towards Rodolpho, which results in Eddie releasing his frustration by physical violence.
Eddie fires at Rodolpho-“You can’t hurt me [Rodolpho more seriously, jabs at Eddies jaw]” The audience will not approve if Eddie interfering in Catherine’s and Rodolpho’s relationship which includes physical tension. There are also times when the Audience empathise with Eddie, as he is being loving and caring and trying to do the right thing, whereas Catherine acts selfish and ignores him. The character Alfieri has a very important role in the play “A view from the bridge. ” Alfieri acts both as a narrator and commentator but his main function is to offer ideas to the audience to set them thinking about the message of the play.
Alfieri also divides each act into unofficial scenes, and inform the audience on any missed action. Alfieri is a character in the play and yet his advice is objective and sympathetic. Alfieri is the first character to speak in the play; he therefore sets the scene and informs the audience the background to the action. He is a lawyer but in this area of Brooklyn the people distrust the law, he tells us-“A lawyer means the law, and in Sicily, from where their fathers come, the law has not been a friendly idea since the Greeks were beaten.
” This speech immediately sets up tension between Alfieri, a representative of written law and the Italian immigrant community, who prefer to follow their own ‘law’. Alfieri understood Eddies love for Catherine was impossible to control. Alfieri empathised with Eddies in a way Beatrice could not. “It ain’t nice Eddie” This shows Beatrice confronts Eddie more than she actually Comforts him, whereas Alfieri states-“Yes but those things have to end Eddie.
” This shows Alfieri understands Eddie psychologically whilst slowly and persuasively trying to steer him out of his unbearable dilemma. Stage Directions are very important in drama and this is evident in Arthur Millers ”A view from the Bridge”. Stage directions give actors and directors character motivation and this allows actors to create believable characters and explain a characters actions and feelings. They also highlight characters emotions that are indirectly portrayed through stage directions, especially when describing the main focus of the play.
, Eddie Carbone. In the beginning of act one, Catherine appeared to be an extremely friendly, confident little girl. “I just got it, you like it? ” Catherine projects herself in this scene as a young, timid girl who does not have much knowledge of the outside world as she has been over-protected by Eddie all her life. ”[She turns for him]”- Arthur Miller uses a variety of stage directions to develop Catherine as a character. The stage directions in the beginning of act one are secretly intimate and kind of shows a hint of sexual tension between Catherine and Eddie.
“[wipes her hand over her skirt]”-Not many nieces do these flirty flexes with their uncles, but for Catherine this seems as it is normal to be twirling and flirting. When Rodolpho arrives, Catherine seems to be getting stronger and braver towards Eddie. She feels as if she is independent and superior. “[She frees her arm, steps back into the bedroom]” Catherine frees her arms from Eddie, Arthur Miler uses stage directions effectively in this section as it is building Catherine’s character from a Shy, inferior, tiny girl into a strong-minded, selfish, superior woman.
This dramatically changes the audiences impression of Catherine. Catherine has always had an innocent fondness toward Eddie, but Eddie takes it the wrong way which makes their “father and daughter relationship” seem more sexual and possessive. “[As she strives to free herself, he kisses her on the mouth]” Eddie was obviously drunk when this stage direction was performed, but when your drunk your true feelings come out and Eddies passionate love for Catherine had finally been . sexually released.
This had a massive impact on the audience as Arthur Miller created suspense in this section. Whilst Eddie is sexually obsessed over Catherine, Catherine just wants unconditional, parental love from Eddie and Romantic sexual love from Rodolpho. Catherine later bursts out ”I’ll Kill you”- If Catherine was secretly in love with Eddie like Eddie was with Catherine, she would have not threaten to kill him. When Catherine and Rodolpho are home alone, there is tension building up. Catherine starts curiously questioning Rodolpho, “Suppose I wanted to live in Italy.
” She is testing his love for her, as Eddie had informed Catherine that Rodolpho is most l;likely using her just to be an American Citizen. Catherine refused to believe this but Eddie might of got the better side of her. Catherine later exploded with-”You don’t know, nobody knows! ”- This is showing Catherine’s neglect and isolation from Rodolpho and Eddie. She Presumes that no one understands her, but the audience thinks she’s only confused as she does not know who to trust.
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