In What Way Does The Final Scene of Act 1 Demonstrate Dramatically The Essay example

In What Way Does The Final Scene of Act 1 Demonstrate Dramatically The Essay example

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In What Way Does The Final Scene of Act 1 Demonstrate Dramatically The
Tensions Between The Characters Which Will Lead to Tragedy?

The final scene of Act 1 in Arthur Miller's 'A View From The Bridge'
demonstrates dramatic tension in a variety of different ways. It is
made fairly clear from the final moments of the act when Alfieri
returns to the stage that the play will end in tragedy. Miller shows
this through dialogue between the characters and in the plentiful
stage directions with which he liberally sprinkles the text. There is
a range of conflict present in the scene. The central conflict
however, involves Eddie's unacknowledged jealousy towards Rodolfo;
this is the strongest.

The above dispute is clearly visible when Eddie goes to visit Alfieri
for the first time. He makes insubstantial claims about Rodolfo's
sexual persuasion without ever calling him a homosexual. Eddie asserts
to Alfieri that "the guy ain't right" and that he "ain't no tenor". He
continues by adding that if one was to enter a room when Rodolfo was
singing, "you wouldn't be looking for him, you'd be looking for her".
He is incredulous that there is no recourse in the law that will
prevent Rodolfo, a submarine or illegal immigrant, from marrying
Catherine.

When he leaves Alfieri's office, Eddie has made it clear he would
never betray the cousins. Nevertheless the audience is made to feel
that he may yet take the recurring theme of personal justice into his
own hands, if not by informing the authorities of their illegal
presence in the country, then by some other means. This is shown by
the extent of Eddie's anger when he says "he's stealing from me" and "[he]
puts his filthy hands on her like a goddam thief." Miller conveys th...


... middle of paper ...


... the characters that will lead to
tragedy through the way he very carefully structures the play so that
the central tension, Eddie versus Rodolfo, increases as the action
unfolds. This is true of the 'minor' tensions too, e.g. Beatrice
versus Eddie. The tensions themselves are built up by the pithy
dialogue and the meticulous stage directions, e.g. "rubbing his fists
into his palms; diverting their attention; he senses he is exposing
the issue and he is driven on". Miller mimics Greek tragedy with a
"chorus" - Alfieri - who comments on the action. Alfieri does this job
well and is constantly hinting at the tragic ending he knows is going
to unfold. Ironically, after the first few scenes the audience realise
that Alfieri was right at the beginning and the play is going to end
in tragedy. How it will come about is still unclear at the end of Act
1, however.

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