Although the theme of betrayal and controversy is touched upon
throughout the play, these subjects are particularly emphasized in Act
2. This, and the fact that the events that occur are catalytic to
future developments in the play make this act one of great importance.
Miller makes use of dynamics to allow the potential for immense drama
and explosive consequences. He creates a powerful cocktail by placing
the three strongest characters together in one room to vent their
emotion, allowing issues of homosexuality and the collapse of a family
to be unveiled. The three characters opinions contrast greatly,
revealing repressed and somewhat unpalatable feelings. The foregoing
drama acts as a build-up to the ultimate "explosion", which is the
kissing scene between Eddie and Rodolfo. This marks the acuteness of
Eddie's views, and perhaps is also an indication that he has become
In order to emphasize the emotionally charged nature of this act, the
effects of music, lighting, and of course stage direction must be
Each emotion has to be shown clearly, as the characters are at the
peak of their roles, where their true natures and personalities are
revealed to the audience.
In this act, Catherine breaks free of her role as "the child", telling
Rodolfo, "I'm not a baby, I know a lot more than people think I know."
Intonation could indicate this change of image, her tone of voice with
Rodolfo being stern and defiant, contrasting with her previous
subordinate nature. She is also quite frustrated, as she is finally
expressing feelings that have been repressed for so long. ...
... middle of paper ...
... scene in particular, the more bigoted
attitude that manifested itself in the society of the '40s would make
this scene enough to envelop its audience in a stunned and somewhat
Issues which seem normal now would have been a taboo in earlier
cultures, for example that of homosexuality. This factor has been made
a part of everyday life, but only recently has this been let in to
society. Another issue that would add to the shock value of this scene
was that of the Carbone's Catholicism contrasting with the upsetting
matters taking place in their household. The issues of homosexuality,
plus those of adultery and betrayal would be unheard of in 1940.
Miller's aim was to make these matters known, and he did this by
thrusting them in the faces of his audience in the form of a dramatic
scene in a play.
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