A View From the Bridge - Arthur Miller

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A View From the Bridge 'He's like a weird'. This opinion of Rodolfo expressed by Eddie encapsulates the main theme of the 20th century play, 'A View From the Bridge', by Arthur Miller. Rodolfo is subject to Eddie's hostile feelings towards him, emotions like abhorrence, resentment, jealousy and aggression. Eddie's belief in manliness and masochistic behaviour is one explanation why he detests Rodolfo with such vehemence. To Eddie Carbone, Rodolfo is the exact opposite of his ideals. He has effeminate attributes; he can sing, dance, and make dresses. These all seem to anger Eddie but ridiculously, it seems that Rodolfo's blond hair seems to irritate Eddie especially; he seems to think that it proves that Rodolfo 'ain't right', and is therefore a homosexual. All these characteristics that Rodolfo possesses are alien to Eddie, who has been brought up uneducated. He believes in the idea that men should be strong, masculine, and the 'bread-winners' of a household. Although Rodolfo does not conform to this description, his older brother, Marco, does. In the very last scene of Act 1, Marco exposes his superior strength by questioning Eddie; 'Can you lift this chair?' Eddie can't; 'Gee, that's hard'. Marco then lifts the chair above his head with 'a smile of triumph'. This instils wariness into Eddie, making him feel uncomfortable in realising that he is no longer the most powerful man in the house. If he aggravates Rodolfo, Marco, as his older brother, will defend him with whatever means he can. This is one of the reasons that cause tension in the Carbone household, but mainly it is the chemistry between Catherine and Rodolfo that gives rise to strain. As soon as Beatrice's cousins enter the house, the att... ... middle of paper ... ... This play was first written in verse in 1955, as one act. It was revised by Miller and developed into a two-act play; Miller was discontented with the unemotional way that the American cast portrayed the play, so the reviewed version was designed for a London audience. It emulated a Greek tragedy; based upon a main male character who's destiny causes him to create his own downfall; which Eddie did by dictating to people he had no right to control and being stubborn and narrow-minded. So, the ideas of manliness, hostility and aggression in 'A View From the Bridge' are suggested to be weaknesses, character flaws, and the lesson is to compromise; 'we settle for half and I like it better'. Miller is insinuating that aiming towards an unachievable dream will eventually cause you anguish, and that perhaps it is better to lead a happier, if less ambitious, life.
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