Trace the development of dramatic tension in this scene from the apparently innocuous conversation around the meal table to the closing tableau of the chair lifting episode which concludes the act
This scene is the last in act one and is an important scene for building up drama and tension between the characters. Even the positioning of the scene helps the drama, by putting it at the end of act 1, where in the theatre there would be an interval, it leaves the audience with a cliff hanger, not knowing whats going to happen next, dreading the outcome for the characters. It leaves them with an idea that the events following in act 2 will not be good.
The scene starts like many others, the family enjoying a meal around the dinner table having a friendly conversation although it is not long before things start to go awry. Catherine is telling Beatrice about Rodolpho and Marcos travels as they clear the table, "They went to Africa once. On a fishing boat, (Eddie glances at her.) Its true, Eddie." This shows that things are already not all as pleasant as they appear and that Eddie is skeptical of what Rodolpho has told her. Eddie thinks that rodolpho may be making these things up to impress her. Its little actions like these that trigger the tension between Eddie and the two immigrants. However previously Eddie had made digs at Rodolpho, he always seemed to have alot of respect for Marco but in this scene he starts making little digs at both of them. To Marco he makes jokes about his wife and kids back home, "(laughing) i mean you know - they count the kids and there's a couple more extra than when they left?" He is digging at Marco and how his wife could be unfaithful while he was in America. He never gives Rodolpho a break, constantly finding something to critisize him on.
Eddie is convinced that Eddie is gay, he never says it out right and only ever hints at it when hes with Alfieri, however in this scene he tries to hint at it....
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