Arthur Miller ‘Good’ Theatre Essay
Arthur Miller ‘Good’ Theatre
A View from the Bridge is a post war play centred on longshoreman Eddie Carbonne. Eddie lives with wife Beatrice, and niece Catherine. The play depicts the conflict that occurs when, Italian immigrants and relatives of Beatrice, Marco and Rudolpho, come to stay with them and Rudolpho forms a romantic relationship with Catherine, eventually marrying her. It ends in a violent confrontation between Marco and Eddie. Eddie confronts Marco with a knife, but it backfires and he is stabbed to death.
I am going to answer the question, “what makes “A View from the Bridge” ‘good’ theatre” by firstly analysing four main components: the characters, themes, stage directions and dramatic devices. I am going to begin with the characters. The three most important characters are Eddie, Beatrice and Alfieri. Firstly, Eddie has the leading role and the complexities of his character add many intriguing dimensions. For instance, there are his deep feelings for Catherine and their incestuous connotations. Throughout the play, Eddie’s feelings towards Catherine are made known to the audience and many of the other characters.
However Eddie still seems oblivious and even though his actions strongly suggest he loves her as more than a niece, he never verbalises his feelings or wilfully admits to them. “EDDIE: What can I do? … I gotta sit in my own house and look at a son-of-a-bitch punk like that – which he came out of nowhere! I give him my house to sleep! I take the blankets off my bed for him, and he takes and puts his dirty filthy hands on her like a god dam thief! Here, Eddie is getting increasingly angry, because he feels that by marrying Catherine, Rudolpho is somehow stealing from him. Miller shows this by using expletives and exclamation marks.
This shows that he is protective of her in a slightly more than paternal way. When Alfieri makes the comment about Eddie marrying Catherine, it is on the surface an offhand retort to ridicule Eddie’s incredulity at Catherine marrying Rudolpho, but Eddie reacts very badly to it, because Alfieri has actually pinpointed the true nature of his feelings. However instead of acknowledging this, he shouts at Alfieri in an attempt. Here, the audience is made aware of the fact that in his own mind, Eddie is just being protective of his niece, and that any improper feelings from Catherine are deeply suppressed.
Therefore, the audience is always in anticipation of the moment when Eddie vents all that suppressed emotion, which creates increasing tension. Miller puts a pause at the end of Eddie’s angry outburst because the moment of silence would allow the audience to realise the true meaning of the conversation. “ALFIERI: You know sometimes God mixes up the people. We all love someone… but sometimes… there’s too much… and it goes where it mustn’t… there is too much love for the niece. Do you understand what I’m saying to you?
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