A View from the Bridge

Earlier in the scene where Eddie tells Catherine to make coffee he tells her to make it; ‘Nice and strong. ‘ When Eddie says this he has a double-meaning, because he applies the word ‘strong’ to Rodolpho. He says ‘Nice and strong’ ironically. When Eddie says this is like a hint about how the play would progress. As the scene carries on the ‘play fight’ progresses into a much deeper aggression for Eddie towards Rodolpho. When Eddie shows Rodolpho how he should hold his hands he is visually representing his hostility, it is as though he is warning Rodolpho of a conflict which will breakout;

‘All right, now come into me, come on. ‘ Eddie is goading Rodolpho into hitting him because he needs an excuse to really hit him in the face as a reaction to the blow he gets. Cleverly Rodolpho picks this up and backs off as because he does not want to get involved. Rodolpho does not want to lose the love from Catherine just because of a test which someone like Eddie gives him. Eddie does not care about what Rodolpho thinks and tries to tell Rodolpho that he is not man enough to take a ‘blow’ or even fight with him;

‘Don’t pity me. ‘ Once again when Eddie delivers this I automatically know tension is sure to rise because when Eddie says this he has a double-meaning. Superficially he means it in a fooling way but really he is trying to say, im man enough, im the one who should have pity on you! As the fighting progresses tension continues to grow. Once Rodolpho becomes confident with boxing he jabs Eddie with assurance. Once Eddie gets hit by Rodolpho he came to know that he is not as hard and strong as he thinks. During the boxing,

Catherine is the main source of conflict, Eddie and Rodolpho are both boxing for the same reason. Catherine is the centre of tension. In the production of this play a lot of visual representation is shown. If feelings could were not represented through words and phrases, gestures are used; ‘Alarm. ‘ Catherine asks what Rodolpho and Eddie are doing with an alarmed facial gesture. The actress who plays Catherine shows her feelings through gestures and acting. She visually represents panic, shock and anxiety. Whilst the fight progresses Beatrice only senses comradeship.

Beatrice misses the point of both Rodolpho and Eddie boxing. Beatrice is outside of the conflict, even though she really cares about Eddie. She loves him and always tries to build bridges. Eddie thinks the opposite of comradeship; hatred, he is not nai?? ve like Beatrice; ‘Sure, he’s terrific! Look at him go! ‘ When Eddie says this he says it in an ironic manner using facial gestures. During this part of the scene the boxing is the climax of physical violence. All of a sudden Eddie’s resentment is coming out.

With full force and aggression Eddie hit Rodolpho, as he realises that he should not show his feelings he pretends, acts as though he is genuinely sorry for hitting him. Catherine rushes to Rodolpho, to see if he is all right, this shows me that she chooses Rodolpho over Eddie, love over relation. I was surprised to see this because normally she is quite scared of Eddie but now she is confident and does what her heart says. Beatrice finally realises what’s going on and being as caring and loving as she is towards Eddie, she tries to protect him by controlling him. She is a peace-maker.

For the first time Eddie is controlled by someone, I found this surprising because normally Italian women are just suppose to work and let the men do whatever they want to do, but in this case, Beatrice takes head and for the first time I saw for her some respect because I came to know that she is capable to standing up to Eddie and telling him what and what not to do. By this time Marco is unsure about Eddie, his feelings change towards him. Marco’s opinion on Eddie also changes. Now, I feel Marco is in a difficult position because he has blood on one side and on the other, honour.

Even though Marco rises at the site of Rodolpho getting hit, I think he is not convinced that anything objectionable has happened. As the final section of this scene approaches I felt as though the scene is playing almost in slow motion because the facial gestures were clearly visible. I notice how confident Rodolpho becomes once Eddie hits him; ‘Dance, Catherine. Come. ‘ This quote above represents Rodolpho’s feelings which represent boxing does not make a person a man or mouse. Rodolpho challenges Eddie and this represents the lost respect for Eddie.

Rodolpho symbolises to Eddie that he is not a man himself and that there are many ways in being a man. The fact that there is not anything wrong with a man letting his femininity out challenges Eddie’s idea of a man, who should be a provider and that’s it. I notice that after Eddie punches Rodolpho, he becomes more direct towards Catherine because he expresses his feelings more openly and confidently. Rodolpho becomes assertive towards Eddie. After sometime thinking, Marco asks Eddie a question; ‘Can you lift this chair? ‘ Now Marco challenges Eddie, defending his brother.

Marco asks this question very directly, warning him of his other side. When Marco says this, he takes control of what is being said in the play. Marco reacts because he feels what has happened is an unfair act. In challenging Eddie to a trial of strength with a kitchen chair, Marco makes it clear that he is loyal to his brother and that if any real contest took place between him and Eddie, he would win. When Eddie came to know he could not lift the chair Eddie loses control, power and authority. The only person who is vindictive in this last part of the scene is Marco.

Once more Miller carries the play forward by offering a modified version of the action which follows. Now, also for the first time I saw the male strength of the Italians. As Marco holds the chair above Eddie’s head there is no sense of threat but merely a hint of the power which he could unleash if he chooses to. When the last scene comes to an end the production team put on loud heart beat sounds to symbolise tension. The sound grows louder and louder and then all of a sudden comes to an end. The spot light is focused on Marco, this represents that in Act Two Marco will be in control.

The last scene foreshadows the final conflict which will be between Marco and Eddie. A View from the Bridge is a cleverly constructed play, whose ‘episodes’ lead to an effective theatrical conclusion. This play ends with a fatal confrontation between two powerful men, Marco and Eddie. Marco represents a narrow morality. His belief that he has a right to kill Eddie rests in the traditions of the Sicilian Vendetta. Eddie has metaphorically ‘killed’ Marco’s family; by depriving Marco he has deprived his family of the means to live and, therefore, of life itself.

Eddie has offended the Italian code of supporting each other. Eddie’s case against Marco is much weaker; he believes that Marco should have informed him when Rodolpho was ‘stealing’ from him. I feel that as the play progresses it is made clear that Eddie has no right to ‘posses’ Catherine, like the way he does. This play as well as being about hostility is about manliness. Eddie imposes Rodolpho as being homosexual because he can clean, cook and make dresses as well as hitting the high notes properly when singing. Whereas, on the other hand Rodolpho sees no great problem in being able to do all the things women can do.

Eddie has a stereotypical view about Italian men. He believes that they should be dark haired, hard working and support the family. He does not make out blond haired, skinny built, cooking and cleaning as Italians. He thinks that Women should only know how to cook and clean and so when he comes across Rodolpho who can do all this he finds it very strange. As I watch this play I came to understand a little why Eddie is not fond of the relationship Catherine has with Rodolpho. To an extent I come to understand his feelings because it hurt him to know that his little ‘baby’ is now and in love.

Eddie always wants to direct Catherine towards; ‘A different kind of people. ‘ And to probably to work in: ‘Maybe a lawyer’s office some place in New York in one of them nice buildings. ‘ Instead he has to watch her fall in love with an Italian immigrant who has little understanding of America. He does not like it because he works hard for her just so she can educate herself and work amongst posh and nice people. Instead he watches her break his dreams. Going back to the topic of homosexuality, when Eddie kisses Rodolpho he behaves in such a way which reflects back on him badly.

Eddie is always against homosexuality yet he kisses Rodolpho which gave us (the audience) a hint that maybe he harbours feelings for Rodolpho. Even though Eddie uses the kiss aggressively to imply that Rodolpho is ‘not right’ I know that there is no truth in this charge. Even though there are many differences between Rodolpho and Eddie I can confidently say that both the characters offer contrasted versions of what it is to be a man. If emphasis is placed on the internal conflicts which took place within Eddie’s family one could say he is seen a man of no insight to his own motivations.

Because of this I (the audience member) may feel pity on him but there is nothing blinding about his betrayal of his relatives. In choosing to take that line of action, which has been signalled many times in the play it is clearly a social taboo, he puts himself beyond the sympathy of his neighbours and the audience. I may conclude, then, that despite the excellence of its construction, its theatrical power and the interesting issues which this play raises I can say that there is something that is unsatisfactory about this play which does not unify the public and private issues which it raises.

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