Choose 3 moments of heightened drama in the play 'A View from the Bridge'. Explain how Arthur Miller builds up dramatic tension and where you think the sympathies of the audience lie.

Essay by bentaylordevil May 2004

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Arthur Miller was born in New York in 1915. He wrote many plays with various subjects but the most well known play is The Crucible. The Crucible was written primarily on the subject of the witch-hunts in Salem. Although the subject of the play was as such, the play is in-fact based on the McCarthy hearings in the late 1940s. The McCarthy hearings were basically a way of destroying the livelihood of anti-communists, so the story is similar to the witch-hunts in Salem. Arthur Miller was involved in the McCarthy hearings and therefore his life experiences were reflected in The Crucible. Miller did the same with A View from the Bridge after experiencing illegal immigration in New York. He was living in New York throughout the immigration changes in the late 1940s and so was able to get a first-hand view on the situation. He would have been able to relate his neighbours to the characters in his play and was perfectly placed to see the clampdown on immigration that would have been evident at the time.

Therefore he could accurately create a play by just taking-in the city around him.

A large factor in 'A View from the Bridge' is the idea of the American Dream, the search for freedom and jobs in America. Marco and Rodolpho are two immigrants who have the same American Dream; they are forced to enter America illegally. I think that Miller created dramatic tension using the idea of illegal immigrants being reported and then caught. Miller also makes use of the idea of Italian and Sicilian family honour and revenge, using it in the majority of the second act.

In the scene where Marco lifts the chair, Miller gradually builds up dramatic tension and it only really starts to get interesting...