Comparison of Dramatic Technique in Philadelphia, Here I Come! and a View from the Bridge

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  • Topic: All My Sons, County Donegal, My Story
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  • Published : October 4, 2012
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A comparison of Brian Friel’s Philadelphia, Here I Come & Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge

Both Brian Friel’s Philadelphia, Here I Come, and Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge bear a resemblance to each other as plays, particularly in certain areas. For example, both plays are set at a similar time, in similarly isolated, and to a certain extent impoverished setting. Dramatic tension is used to great effect in both plays, to hold the audiences attention. The key moment, or climax also plays an integral role in both plays, and in both instances, these moments ultimately determine how the play is resolved. Also, stage directions in both plays are very similarly structured, as both Miller & Friel use very specific and intricate stage directions.

Philadelphia, Here I Come is set in Ballybeg, a small town in Donegal, in the heart of rural Ireland. It is a quintessential small town community, very close, introverted with an air of inescapable predestination. A View From the Bridge is set in Red hook, Brooklyn, a tough impoverished area of New York, home to immigrants and the masculine culture of the longshoremen. Red hook is similar to Ballybeg in the sense that it too appears to have sense of inescapability and a predestined future, which is due to the poverty within Red hook. Both settings inspire dreams of escape in the play the plays characters, as Gar dreams of leaving Ballybeg for Philadelphia, and Catherine dreams of leaving Red hook for Italy.

The key moment, or climax plays a very important role in both plays. I is that moment when the inevitable ending becomes apparent to the audience, and the characters destines confirmed. In Philadelphia, Here I Come, this moment occurs when Gar’s father S.B, fails to recall a blue boat, while it appears trivial S.B.’s failure to remember the blue boat leads Gar to believe, incorrectly, that he doesn’t care, and that his leaving would have little emotional effect on his father. While it is...
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