'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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