The Playwright Employ to Create Tension Essay
The Playwright Employ to Create Tension
Act I of “A View from the Bridge” ends with Marco standing over Eddie, holding a chair above his head threateningly. This stage direction, which expresses Marco’s physical power and dominance over Eddie, is not very surprising to the audience as through the whole scene Arthur Miller has been building up tension in a variety of ways. In this essay I will be examining and evaluating these methods. The play is a tragedy. In all tragic plays, the ending involves a death. The audience’s awareness of this builds up tension because the ending is inevitable.
“A View from the Bridge” is set in Red Hook in the 1950’s. There is a very important code of honour between the inhabitants of the area, who are primarily immigrants from Italy. We learn of this code through Eddie’s story of Vinnie, who is “spat on in the street” because he betrayed his uncle, an illegal immigrant, to the immigration bureau. This creates tension as throughout the play as the audience knows if anyone does break the code, there will be disastrous results for them. This theme of betrayal is also connected with Arthur Miller.
He was a communist sympathiser during the cold war, a time when all communists in the west were hated and feared. Many communist supporters living and working in America were forced to give out names of other communists within the country. Arthur Miller was firmly against informing, and highlights his views throughout the play Arthur Miller’s use of the narrator, Alfieri, also builds up tension. At the beginning of the scene, he says “I knew where he was going to end”. The audience know the play will end unpleasantly because of this, so a lot of tension is built up through the anticipation of the ending.
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