'A View from the Bridge' is still relevant to a contemporary audience. Discuss this in relation to Miller's use of language, structure and stage devices; showing how they are used dramatic effect. "Miller intended the play to be a modern version of a Greek tragedy" and even though Miller set the play in a specific time and a specific place it still resembles that of a Greek tragedy. Miller has inputted a bit of him self into the play as the play is also based on his personal experiences. He confronts the audience with a situation which we know the outcome of, due to the timeless structure also used in Greek theatre.

'A View from the Bridge' is and always will be relevant to today's events, society and happenings because of its Greek theatre influence, using very strong morals and timeless themes. Such as: Love, Betrayal, Hate, Jealousy, honor, and Identity, Which are maneuvered in and out of the play. In the opening section of the play Miller sets the scene in Red Hook, "the slum that faces the bay on the seaward side of Brooklyn Bridge", portraying to the audience the areas personality.

Miller manages this to a fine art, as he visited and worked in Brooklyn as a ship-fitter and therefore knew the area and its surrounding people well. While in Brooklyn, he heard a story from a lawyer friend which was of a longshoreman who had "snitched" to the immigration bureau on two brothers - who were living illegally in his home - just to stop an engagement between one of them and his niece. This story is where he got most of his ideas from. Due to this he was able to describe through his use of language all the events so they have a realistic feel which could make the reader feel like it could have been set in today's society.

The broken English used in the play, as a device, shows how uneducated the characters are but also how identifiable they are with people in society today. Words missing or words abbreviated, using an apostrophe, show this. "They been pullin' this since the Immigration Law was put in! They grab a green kid that don't know nothin'", this broken speech is still direct and can be understood but still shows how the character feels. The language is used, like in Greek theatre, to also describe the settings with quite some precision. The devices Miller uses can also communicate to the audience what speech cannot.

Furthermore, the language Miller uses combined with the stage devices he uses can communicate something completely different. For example: when Eddie is "teaching" Rodolfo to box and there is overlapping dialogue from Beatrice and Catherine - which builds a lot of tension - from "I don't want to hit you, Eddie" to "No, no, he didn't hurt me.", (Page 41) after the climax is reached when Eddie punches Rodolfo. The overlapping dialogue is meant to show confusion and a build up of tension to when Eddie hits Rodolfo. Although the overlapping speech builds up tension the audience knew that this would happen.

Another example of language - or even the lack of language and dialogue - being used as a dramatic device is while Marco is lifting the chair (page 42). This is all done through language being used as a dramatic device. "Here", is all that Marco says, the rest is communicated by his actions as he wants to communicate to Eddie what he cannot say aloud.

"He transforms what might appear like a glare of warning into a smile of triumph, and Eddie's grin vanishes as he absorbs his look", this still has the intended impact that Marco wanted on Eddie without speech involved. This is very similar to what might have been used in Greek theatre, using acting and stage devices instead of language. Even today in every day life we do the same, using physical actions instead of words.

Miller uses a lot of different techniques and devices to portray different ideas to the audience, to create meaning and make them understand. The stage devices Miller uses create meaning for the audience and reveal subtext, showing the inner feelings of the characters. For example: the phone booth glowing (Act 2, page 49), "A phone booth begins to glow on the opposite side of the stage; a faint, lonely blue.

Eddie stands up, jaws clenched", this reveals an amount of subtext to the audience showing them that Eddie is thinking of phoning the Immigration Bureau. The revealed subtext is also showing us that Eddie is feeling angered and is trying to hold back on something, causing more tension.

Another example of language being used as a dramatic device is while Eddie is "taking cheep shots" at Rodolfo - making out that he is homosexual - with the dramatic devices before and after the comments, using a newspaper as his prop. "(He has been unconsciously twisting the newspaper into a tight roll. They are all regarding him now; he senses he is exposing the issue and he is driven on.)I would be someplace else. I would be like in a dress store. (He has bent the rolled paper and it suddenly tears in two.

References: https://essaysamurai.co.uk/

All Posts
×

Almost done…

We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!

OKSubscriptions powered by Strikingly