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The Opening And Closing Stages Essay

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With Particular Reference To The Opening And Closing Stages Of Act One And Eddies Interview With Alfieri In Act Two, Explore Millers Skills As A Playwright. The play ‘A View from the Bridge’ was written by Arthur Miller who was born on the 17th of October, 1915 in New York and died in 2005. ‘A View from the Bridge’ is set in the late 1940s and early 1950s and has a story of different illegal immigration acts. Also Arthur Miller included 60yrs of literature and cinema work in his life.

Arthur Miller makes his stage directions and use of minimal props (table, chairs and a portable phonograph) clear to make the play run clearly without interruptions, this is also achieved by all the backgrounds already on stage through the use of skeletal layout throughout all the play instead of interrupting the play to change the scene. The opening of act one starts with locating the stage’s scene, one key factor to this is a foghorn that Miller uses to make it clear that it is set near the docks it also helps set the mood of danger ahead.

Also in act one Miller uses minimal props so the audience can focus more on the play that being distracted by various objects, and the only props that are used provide a key element to the play. Miller also has it set that the curtain never closes so that the audience can keep concentrating on the story instead of getting distracted; this also helps the audience feel part of the play.

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The closing of act one starts with various statements causing tension for the audience, also the song paper doll is used and the first time Eddie hears it, it makes him mad. The symbolism of the lyrics makes Eddie believe that Rodolfo (who is dancing with Catherine) is almost claiming Catherine as his own “paper doll”. Both Eddie and Rodolfo are letting their anger surge up and to help this Miller uses repetition to build up the anger.

Miller also uses the skill of an action expressing an emotion an example is Eddie getting twisted with anger until he snaps and the action to express this is shown through Eddie twisting the newspaper until it snaps just like him “(he has bent the rolled paper and it suddenly tears in two)” which also refers to the saying actions speak louder than words. Act two starts with Alfieri used as the narrator until he looks down at his desk breaking him back into character “(he breaks off and looks at the desk. Then he turns to Eddie)” which again this helps with the smooth running of the play.

There is a massive use of lighting which is shown when Alfieri looks into Eddies eyes and feels fear and anger, “but I will never forget how dark the room became when he looked at me; his eyes were like tunnels. )”. “(a phone booth begins to glow on the opposite side of the stage; a faint lonely blue. Eddie stands up, jaws clenched)” Miller uses this to help the audience know that the decision Eddie is making will cause him feeling independent, lonely and that everything that’s happening is down to fate.

Miller uses the Vinnie Bolzano story and that Eddie ends up being hypocritical but he does it because it is his last resort of action to what he believes will save Catherine from Rodolfo, with this Eddie speaks and acts normal with Louis although he knows that because of what he’s done the community will look down on him until he leaves but this is the risk Eddie is willing to take. In conclusion, Miller’s skills as a playwright which is shown by the structure of the play and is very interesting with many scenes missed out which I think Miller does purposely to make us decide what we think happened during that missed time.

What I think is interesting is that at the end of Act one is faded out in the middle of a climax while at the end of act two is seems to take its time in finishing it properly. All in all, from my own point of view, I believe that Miller has written a genuinely brilliant play that everyone can connect into and I think that the majority would regard this play as a tragedy. I too believe it to be a tragedy and I think I would enjoy reading this play again by myself as I think it is an excellent play that analyses the strange aspects of the human nature.

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