How Tension Is Created in the Play “a View from the Bridge?

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  • Topic: Plays
  • Pages : 4 (1529 words )
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  • Published : April 7, 2011
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In this essay I am going to discuss how tension is created in the play “A View from the Bridge” written by Arthur Miller, but more specifically how tension is created at the end of Act One. A View from the Bridge is set in Red Hook, New York full of Italian Americans who struggle to earn a living. In the 1950’s, Italy was a very poor country however immigration was made illegal before this, in 1946. The play goes on to tell us about the Carbone family, an American family consisting of a couple – Eddie and Beatrice and her sister’s orphaned daughter; Catherine. Having raised Catherine since she was a small girl, Eddie is extremely possessive and controlling of her, which we come to see more and more as the play progresses. When Beatrice’s cousins Marco and Rodolfo come to stay with the family illegally, to try and get work and a sufficient amount of money to send back home to Italy, tensions rises as Eddie feels threatened as Marco’s alpha male status, which causes a shift in balance in the household. As we read the play, we come to see how Eddie’s petty insecurity gets the better of him, causing an inevitable tragic ending. Towards the end of Act One, we see the tension in the Carbone household reach a critical level, and it is clear for all to see. The characters attempt to ignore, hide and even relieve this tension by all means necessary, although whatever they do seems to make the atmosphere even more tension filled. Relationships between certain characters - such as the one between Catherine, Rodolfo, Eddie and Beatrice and the relationship between Eddie and Marco create tension in different ways, and sound/music, action, movement and gesture all contribute to the rising tension at the end of Act One. We see many different examples of tension when it comes to the relationship between Catherine, Rodolfo, Eddie and Beatrice. For example, Catherine’s first words in this scene are “You know where they went?” This automatically causes accidental tension between...
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