The Opening Scene of A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller

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The Opening Scene of A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller

The opening scene of “A View from the Bridge” contains a lot of clues

and preparations for what is to come in the rest of the play. By just

reading the title, the reader can tell a lot about what events will

occur. The opening stage directions suggest the theme of the play

before any characters are introduced, which is very significant. The

first few lines of each person’s speech hints at the type of character

that each person is going to be, and many clues are given away to what

is going to happen and why. The set can also give the audience some

contextual information- by showing what time period it was in. This

hints to what the story may lead to because of the particular things

going on at this time in America, and also the idea of the American


The title of the play is very significant. As the first thing you

read, you can use it to predict/ sum up what will happen in the play.

Obviously, you cannot tell from the title exactly what the plot will

be, and what type of characters involved, however you do get an idea

of the type of play that it is. The title “A View from the Bridge” can

be interpreted as the idea of somebody watching down on a series of

events. As the play is set in America, it is likely that “the Bridge”

is Brooklyn Bridge, so you could see this as Alfieri watching Eddie’s

household from Brooklyn Bridge. This is associated with the theme of

Greek Tragedy, in that it gives the idea of someone watching down on

what is happening. This shows a definite sense of inevitability and

fate- showing that someone can see what is going to happen, but it


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presence throughout the play creates a continuous tension as Eddie’s

desire to discard Marco and Rodolpho by reporting them to the

authorities. The same continuous reminder is used with the phonograph-

the player that played the song that represents the love between

Catherine and Rodolpho that he resents with such a passion.

Even if you do not know what is going to happen after the opening

scene, subconsciously you are prepared for what is going to happen

because of the careful signals that Miller has used. He does this to

put his point across even more clearly- creating a bigger impact on

the audience because the omens that they have been presented with

create a lot of tension. This makes the play constantly tense, and the

audience is waiting for the fatal moment, so when it arrives it has a

big impact.
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