A view from the bridge by Arthur Miller is set in the late 1940’s. Eddie Carbone is working on the docks of New York as an Italian Longshoreman. When Eddies wife, Beatrice’s cousins Rodolpho and Marco seek refuge as illegal immigrants from Scilly Eddie agrees to shelter them. Catherine, Beatrice’s niece takes a shine to the younger brother Rodolpho and they end up getting engaged. Eddie becomes extremely jealous he believes Rodolpho only wants to marry his niece in order to gain an American citizenship.
Catherine and the audience realise that Rodolphos love for her is true, everybody except Eddie seems to realise this, his jealousy gets so immense that he ends up tragically dead. In this essay I am going to explain the dramatic effectiveness of the scenes in which Eddie calls the immigration officials and they turn up at the Carbones home looking for Rodolpho and Marco and the scene in which Eddie is killed. The first scene starts with Eddie visiting Alfieri, the family’s lawyer. Alfieri has an important role in this play, without him the play would not be as dramatic.
One of the reasons for this is because every time he speaks the light, which is very bright focuses on him and him only, the lighting plays a big part in the dramatic effectiveness of the play. Alfieris attitude makes the audience sympathise more so with the characters. The audience share the same attitude as Alfieri, whilst looking back on the events of the play in which he narrates, there is a series of flashbacks shown to heighten the sense of tragedy that develops throughout the play as the Carbones story is told.
Each time Alfieri narrates the play the cameras and lights focus on him only, making him look more dramatic and important. Alfieri is the one who tried to make Eddie see sense throughout the play, although it didn’t seem to work. By the end of Alfieri’s first speech he says how lawyers are “only thought of in connection with disasters” this makes the audience think why would Eddies case be any different? In all of the other cases Alfieri and many other lawyers have dealt with disasters have occurred so why would Eddies case be any different?
This then lets the audience know that the events to come throughout the play will be “grim”. Eddie and Alfieri are discussing Catherine and Rodolphos wedding, Eddie doesn’t think Rodolpho is right for Catherine and will do anything to stop the wedding going ahead. Alferi tells Eddie to “let her go and bless her”. As he says this the phone booth on the opposite side of the stage begins to glow, this makes the audience think, why is it glowing? What’s going to happen? Something obviously involving the phone booth.
Eddie then stands up with a clenched jaw and walks towards the phone booth, the lights now making the phone booth look brighter it then shows Eddie, stood next to it. The change in lighting makes the play look more exciting and dramatic Eddie then picks up the phone and abruptly shouts, “give me the name of the immigration bureau” once he is questioned further by the officials he begins to feel guilty and slowly hangs up the phone. The problem with Eddie is he has too much love for Catherine, we see this in the scene in which Eddie kisses Catherine and Rodolpho.
All Eddie wants to do is protect his niece therefore he is forced to call the immigration officials to get rid of Rodolpho and in doing so he doesn’t have to blame himself. Eddie soon then returns home, just before he goes inside the house he stands outside glancing about, more than likely thinking about whether ringing the immigration officials was a good idea. He then enters his house everyone’s out all except Beatrice who Eddie has an argument with again over Catherine. Beatrice wants Eddie to give his blessing to the couple but he refuses.
A while later two men in overcoats appear outside the house, Eddie realises ringing the immigration officials was a bad idea, you can tell this by his facial expression and body language, he turns to Catherine and points upstairs telling her to go out the back. Catherine can’t quite believe her eyes and stands there motionless. The immigration officer knocks on the door then again for a second time, Catherine is extremely upset you can tell this by the way in which she storms into the bedroom, its obvious who told the officials and she’s very upset. Eddie finally answers the door, the officer hurries in “where are they?
” The two officers search the house top to bottom Beatrice looks at Eddie seeing the fear is his face; we then see the first officer descending with Marco behind him Rodolpho and Catherine followed by the second officer, Beatrice then rushes to the door. There’s a struggle as Catherine tries to tell the officers that they are only working there “what do yiz want form them? They work, that’s all. ” Just before the officers leave with two immigrants, Marco breaks from the group and dashes into the room which Eddies in Beatrice and the first officer rush in just as they do Marco spits in Eddies face.
Eddie then lunges at Marco Eddie shouts in a rage “I’ll kill you for that you son of a bitch”. The language used makes the scene more exciting, Marco is taken away by the officer as Eddie follows Marco shouts “he killed my children! He stole food from my children! ” The crowds of people in the street turn to look at Eddie with disgust Eddies shouts “he’s crazy! I gave him the blankets of my bed” But they don’t believe him. This makes Eddie furious and he exits up the street calling “he’s gonna take that back or I’ll kill him you hear me? I’ll kill him.
” The audience realises Eddies not joking by the expression his face and this makes them think that someone may be murdered, but will it be Marco? The lights then go off, there’s a pause of darkness then the lights rise on the reception room of a prison, Alfieri is discussing the situation with Rodolpho, Catherine and Marco. Alfieri says he can bail them out until the hearing making Marco promise to behave and not to kill Eddie. He hesitates at first but soon realises if he doesn’t he’ll be stuck in a prison cell Marco then turns and walks out Alfieri leaves the stage and the lights dim out.
Marco then goes round to the carbones house shouting near the door outside “Eddie Carbone! ” This is when the real tragedy begins as the audience can tell by the facial expressions of the characters and their attitude towards each other. Eddie then goes u0p the stairs and emerges form the apartment, Beatrice’s is shouting at Eddie telling him to come back inside whilst Rodolpho is telling Marco to leave it. Eddies eyes are murderous and he cracks his knuckles in his hand with a strange kind of relaxation whilst shouting at Marco “come to apologise to me hey, Marco?
” Eddie begins to move towards Marco Eddie spreads his arms as does Marco “come on Marco you know what you done! ” Eddie lunges at Marco as the crowds cheer them on Marco calls Eddie an animal and tells him to get on his knees. Eddie goes down with a blow just as Marco raises his foot to him Eddie pulls out a knife as Marco steps back Louis rushes in “Eddie for Christ’s sake! ” Eddie holds up the knife and Louis takes a step back. Eddie wants Marco to admit he lied to everyone but he won’t Marco shouts “anima-a-a-l!
” This part of the play is very dramatic as the crowd watches Eddie and Marco fighting intrigued and scared at the same time. They don’t know what’s going to happen, the Facial expressions used by Arthur Miller in this play are very specific and play an important part in the play. Eddie, with knife in hand lunges at Marco. Marco grabs Eddie’s arm turning the knife in towards Eddie’s body and pushes it in, the audience realises this but Eddie’s family don’t a sense of dramatic irony. Eddie still holding the knife then falls to his knees.
Catherine feeling extremely guilty tells Eddie how she never meant to hurt him, Eddie then whispers to Beatrice in pain “then why- oh, B! ” Eddie dies very dramatically in Beatrice’s arms; she covers Eddie with her body. Eddie brought his death on himself if he hadn’t have been so jealous of Rodolpho then he wouldn’t have called the immigration officers and they wouldn’t have took Marco and Rodolpho to prison and maybe then Marco and Eddie wouldn’t have had such a bad argument leading to Eddies death.
Alfieri, who is in the crowd turns to the audience, the light goes down leaving him in the slightly in the glow, he says one last speech as the curtains draw. Arthur Miller is very specific about the set of the play; it’s very small making it easier for the audience. There is only a small area to concentrate on and the audience can see everything happening. There is a limited number of characters in the play again making the play easier to watch for the audience, there isn’t too many different things going on with too many different characters.
The lights again makes a big difference to the play when it focuses on one person only it makes what the person says more dramatic and they look more important. This happens to Alfieri a lot during the play this is why I think he has an n important part in making the play dramatic. Another thing important in this play is the facial expressions of the main characters; Arthur Miller is very specific about them and uses them well contributing well to the dramatic effectiveness of the play.