H/W How does Arthur Miller create dramatic 28/12/08
tension in ‘A view from the bridge’?
In the play, ‘A view from the bridge’, Arthur Miller creates dramatic tension via the use of the following techniques, the effects of characters and actions, effects of dramatic devices, the several themes, ideas and meanings an the social and historical setting.
Arthur Miller uses dramatic devices to create dramatic tension such as violence when Rodolpho spars with Eddie at the end of act 1. When the stage directions say, [Rubbing his fists together] it show that Eddie is trying to release his anger and frustration on Rodolpho for interfering with Catherine as he wants her to himself, This creates tension as they are landing blows at one another and hurting each other. Soon after, when Marco challenges Eddie and says ‘Can you lift this chair?’ and he cannot, Marco then does it and holds the chair high above his head, whilst glaring at Eddie. This threatening pose portrays tension as Marco has out played and upstaged Eddie. There is also a power shift as Eddie is losing his power and restrain over Marco as he has just displayed that he can out do Eddie. "He reaches out suddenly, draws her to him......he kisses her on the mouth"
Miller also uses stages pauses to create dramatic tension. For example, when Eddie has just insulted Rodolpho, there is a silence.
'EDDIE [sits on his rocker]: Well, that's all I'm askin,
[EDDIE reads his paper. There is a pause awkwardness. Now CATHERINE gets up and puts a record on the phonograph-Paper Doll]'
This is an uncomfortable moment of tension. Catherine breaks the silence by putting on Paper Doll, but it creates more tension by amplifying the friction between Catherine, Rodolpho and Eddie. Catherine also uses it as a means of provoking Eddie by asking Rodolpho to dance. This scene is a complete contrast to earlier on in the play where Miller showed Catherine to be...