Act One ends with a tense confrontation between Marco and Eddie. Explore the dramatic significance of this scene as a whole. A View from the Bridge is a very well layout play. It starts with a warm home life with only slight tension in the atmosphere. Although as the play carries on tension builds between the new arrivals and the main character Eddie Carbone. This is because of the relationship between one of the immigrants, Rodolpho, and Eddie’s niece, Catherine, which is looked down upon by Eddie as wrong. Marco being the protective older brother sees it as his job to stick up for Rodolpho. So by the end of Act One tension has built rapidly and leads to a confrontation between Marco and Eddie and it is clear to the audience that the play is a Tragedy.
The play set in the early 1950s is about two parts of a family coming together and the events occurring. Eddie and Beatrice Carbone are a working class couple in Brooklyn and are guardians for their niece Catherine. At first it is a warm and lively atmosphere but tension is apparent in Eddie’s reluctance to accept Catherine growing up although Beatrice is there to make Eddie see sense. Beatrice’s two cousins move from Sicily to America to earn money. With them being illegal immigrants and nowhere to live, the Carbone family let them stay with them. Marco and Rodolpho, the Italians, settle in well at first. Rodolpho and Catherine get on very well but Eddie does not approve of Rodolpho and cannot accept their genuine love for each other. He even goes to talk to a lawyer as he does not want them together and has made this clear to Catherine.
At the end of act one there is a harmonious family picture. Beatrice and Catherine are talking about life in Italy. Eddies escalating anger about Rodolpho and Catherine’s relationship is getting worse and it is now clear he will not be diverted. Although he seems to be acting friendly his anger is sensed on every occasion he speaks to Rodolpho. At this point Marco is doing a lot to please Eddie and even when Eddie starts to be rude towards Rodolpho he still supports what is said.
When Catherine and Rodolpho dance, Eddie starts to share his feelings but is careful not to criticise Rodolpho too openly. Eddie’s attempt to show Rodolpho how to box starts with what everyone thinks is a friendly comradeship. When Eddie lands a punch which staggers Rodolpho, Catherine and Marco do not seem happy. This is the point where Marco challenges Eddie with the chair-lifting. Eddie fails and Marco shows his strength by doing it easily. There is now a rising tension between the two as Eddie realises that Marco is warning him. Throughout this Eddie does many things to provoke the others into action that leads to the tense confrontation.
Catherine is the first to make her choice. She feels that she must make her intentions clear and does this well. When she asks Rodolpho to dance she is ‘flushed with revolt’ this shows she knows exactly what she is implying by doing this. This shows us that she has chosen Rodolpho and wants Eddie to know that he cannot stop her feelings towards him. Also when Rodolpho does not accept and she leads him on ‘Ah, come on. They got a beautiful quartet, these guys. Come.’ this shows that she does not hesitate in showing how she feels and wants Eddie to realize this. This is the catalyst for the significant change within the play as a whole.
Rodolpho has mixed feelings towards what is happening within the Carbone family. He tries to please Eddie most of the time but also wants to be with Catherine. He does not want to displease Marco but Eddie’s actions seem to make it impossible. When Eddie brings up the matter of Rodolpho keeping Catherine out too late, Marcos response shows he is not happy with Rodolpho and he agrees straight away.
This is shown where Marco says ‘You come home early now, Rodolpho.’ and Rodolpho immediately agrees by saying ‘All right, sure.’ This is done as Rodolpho wants to keep his brother happy. The seemingly friendly boxing turns when Eddie throws a harder punch and Rodolpho’s response shows the audience that Rodolpho has won with Catherine. ‘Dance, Catherine. Come.’ this is what Rodolpho says and is his response towards Eddie’s actions. It shows he is now not afraid to upset Eddie.
Marco is the last character to be drawn into the situation at hand. He until this point is forcing Rodolpho to obey Eddie’s rules as he is concerned about his family in Sicily as is shown on many occasions and does not want to jeopardize theirs and his safety. Although Eddies attack on Rodolpho cannot be overlooked and it changes the play as a whole. Marco then feels he has to stick up for his brother and the consequences cause huge amounts of tension.
Beatrice has stuck up for Catherine many times but did not realise it was so serious. In this part of the play she comes to a sad realisation that Eddie’s feelings cannot be ignored. She communicates her disapproval in a public manner. This starts to happen when Eddie is telling Rodolpho off. ‘Well be an uncle then’ Beatrice says to Eddie and it is known to everyone including him that it is in a criticising way. Beatrice can no longer ignore that she does not agree with how Eddie feels and lets him know this quite early on.