Presentation on theme: "Post-1914 coursework GCSE English literature coursework Drama piece."— Presentation transcript:
Post-1914 coursework GCSE English literature coursework Drama piece
Drama Texts Remember that drama is meant to be performed; They are not stories, as such, and you must imagine them being performed on a theatre stage; Try to build up an image of the character in your head; Try to think of the body language and type of voice that the character may use;
Coursework title Examine the ideas of Manliness, Hostility and Aggression in ‘A View From the Bridge’. How are these ideas connected? Copy this in to your book
Stage Directions The first feature that we see as readers are the opening stage directions. Imagine that you are in a theatre; waiting patiently for the curtain to go up. Look at the stage directions on the next slide: If you were the director, where would you place the props on the stage? The numbers have been added to explain the meaning of words that you may not have come across before: definitions are listed underneath.
ACT ONE The street and house-front of a tenement building. The front is skeletal entirely. The main acting area is the living-room-dining- room  of Eddie’s apartment. It is a worker’s flat, clean, sparse, homely. There is a rocker down front; a round dining-table at centre, with chairs; and a portable phonograph. At back are a bedroom door and an opening to the kitchen; none of these interiors is seen. At the right, forestage, a desk. This is Mr Alfieri’s law office. There is also a telephone booth. This is not used until the last scenes, so it may be covered or left in view. A stairway leads up to the apartment, and then farther up to the next storey, which is not seen. Ramps, representing the street, run upstage and off to the right and left. As the curtain rises, LOUIS and MIKE, longshoremen, are pitching coins against the building left. A distant foghorn blows. [Es1]block of flats[Es1] [Es2]open so that the audience can see the interior.[Es2] [Es3]one room for eating and relaxing[Es3] [Es4]rocking chair[Es4] [Es5]record player[Es5] [Es6]the audience only see the doors and not inside[Es6] [Es7]closest to the audience[Es7] [Es8]dock/ship workmen[Es8]
You may decide to place your props like this: Mr Alfieri’s desk Ramps (street) Dining table phonograph Doors leading to ‘kitchen’ & ‘bedrooms’ rocker
An American Tenement Building
Writing task Write at least a paragraph about the props that you see on the stage. You need to write about: There is a large metal staircase running up the front of the building. What does this suggest about where the play may be set? Could it be in Britain, or somewhere else? What type of building is it? How there are very few contents in the apartment. What does this suggest about the occupants? Do you think that they are rich or poor? What about the contents themselves: what does the portable phonograph suggest? When might the play be set? Pay particular attention to how they are SEEN BY THE AUDIENCE.
Content We are going to analyse: stage directions (what the characters are doing as well as what they are saying) Setting (scenery, props etc) Effects on the audience Different interpretations (how could different actors/ directors stage particular moments) (write this down too!)
Analysing Eddie’s character We are going to address: The beginning of the play His relationship with the other characters His first meeting with Marco and Rodolpho His visit to Alfieri His eventual downfall
The opening Read the opening again, think about: Why might the audience be surprised? What does the beginning of the play suggest? What does Eddie do when other characters do not agree with him?
Eddie’s character: the beginning The play opens with Eddie asserting his authority over the female characters, making us think that he likes to be the dominant character. The stage directions tell us that [she is walking him to the armchair]. This indicates not only that he almost expects the female characters to wait on him, but also that the female characters are eager to please him. The female characters are eager to please Eddie and whilst they do, occasionally, question his authority, it is obvious that they will not do anything without his approval.
What are the characteristics which Eddie feels a man should have? After all, he is quick to criticise Rodolpho: “If I could cook, if I could sing, if I could make dresses, I wouldn’t be seen on the waterfront”. This shows that Eddie does not believe that Rodolopho is ‘a real man’, and implies that his activities indicate that he is homosexual. Eddie’s character: the beginning
Explain how Eddie’s views and behaviour lead to conflict on a small scale, for example when Eddie criticises Catherine’s clothes or the fact that she’s ‘walkin’ wavy’ Eddie’s character: the beginning
Eddie almost immediately criticises Catherine: “…I don’t want to be a pest, but I’m tellin’ you you’re walkin’ wavy”. This not only shows how unusual for Catherine to wear lady-like shoes, but also implies that she looks like a tart. Eddie does not consider Catherine’s feelings in this; instead, he only thinks about his reputation on the street, knowing that she will attract male attention. In fact Catherine does not dress suggestively at all: she only dresses as a young lady of 17 (nearly 18) should. She is even rather conservative in her dress sense. Eddie’s character: the beginning
Eddie shows open hostility towards Rodolpho and, finally, Marco. He suggests that he shows Rodolpho how to box and begins sparring with him. Eddie lulls him into a false sense of security, even though it is obvious that Rodolpho wants no part in this: “ “ This shows Eddie’s dominance over Rodolpho, and it is only when Marco challenges Eddie to a feat of strength that Eddie is put in his place. “ “ This shows Eddie that he is no longer the only man in the house, and he is clearly unhappy about this. Eddie’s character: the beginning
Write a paragraph about the opening of the play Cover these points: Eddie is the central character (protagonist). What are the characteristics which Eddie feels a man should have? Explain how Eddie’s views and behaviour lead to conflict on a small scale, for example when Eddie criticises Catherine’s clothes or the fact that she’s ‘walkin’ wavy’ or shows open hostility towards Rodolpho and, finally, Marco.? How might the audience feel at this point in the play? What does such an opening suggest? You could use something similar to these phrases: As the play opens, Eddie seems… The audience are not surprised when Eddie confronts Rodolpho because… The beginning of the play suggests that…may happen later. REMEMBER THAT YOU MUST USE POINT, QUOTE, COMMENT IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE ABOVE AN E GRADE.
Rodolpho’s character When Marco and Rodolpho arrive, Eddie only really talks to Marco. After just a short conversation, the stage directions tell us [- he is coming more and more to address MARCO only] Why do you think this is? Eddie only speaks to Rodolpho again when Rodolpho announces: “I am also a singer, though.” Eddie: “You mean a regular - ?” Why do you think Eddie responds like this? What tone of voice do you think Eddie is using? How does it suggest he feels about Rodolpho?
Rodolpho’s character (continued) When Rodolpho starts singing ‘Paper Doll’, Eddie stops him: “Hey, kid – hey, wait a minute –” … “Look, kid; you don’t want to be picked up, do ya?” Is this the real reason why Eddie wants him to stop singing? Or could there be some other reason? If so, what? Eddie claims that “…he’s taking her for a ride!” What does Eddie mean by this? Is Rodolpho really like this? When Eddie goes to visit Mr Alfieri, he claims [takes a breath and glances briefly over each shoulder] “The guy ain’t right, Mr Alfieri.” To which Mr Alfieri replies: “What do you mean?” What do the stage directions imply that Eddie means?
Rodolpho’s character (continued) At the start of Act Two, Eddie returns to find Catherine and Rodolpho have been alone together in the bedroom. The stage directions tell us: [RODOLPHO appears in the bedroom doorway. EDDIE sees him and his arm jerks slightly in shock. RODOLPHO nods to him testingly.] How do you think Eddie really feels here? What does ‘ his arm jerks slightly’ suggest Eddie wants to do? How does this increase the dramatic tension in the play?
Rodolpho’s character (continued) Catherine responds to Eddie’s outburst, saying “Eddie, I’m not gonna be a baby any more! You –” [He reaches out suddenly, draws her to him, and as she strives to free herself he kisses her on the mouth] How do the audience feel at this point? Why? What is Eddie trying to prove? When Eddie provokes Rodolpho: [RODOLPHO flies at him in attack. EDDIE pins his arms, laughing, and suddenly kisses him.] Why does Eddie do this to him? What is he trying to prove? Who behaves more like a man here? How do the audience feel now?
Write a paragraph about how Rodolpho does not meet Eddie’s standards of manliness. Cover these points: Why Eddie only addresses Marco when the cousins first arrive. Could there be more than one reason for this? How Eddie feels about Rodolpho’s singing What does Eddie say is the main reason he disapproves of Rodolpho’s relationship with Catherine? Why else does he disapprove of Rodolpho? When Eddie returns home and finds Catherine and Rodolpho in the bedroom, how does he feel? How do we know this? How does it create dramatic tension within the play? The moment where Eddie not only kisses Catherine, but Rodolpho too. What is Eddie trying to prove here? Refer back to earlier slides to help you. Remember: you MUST NOT copy ANY of the sentences within these slides (although you may use them to guide you) ALSO REMEMBER THAT YOU MUST USE POINT, QUOTE, COMMENT IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE ABOVE AN E GRADE.
Marco’s character: a stereotypical male? When Beatrice’s cousins arrives from Italy, Eddie appears to accept Marco immediately: “You’re welcome, Marco, we got plenty of room here.” Why could this be? (be careful not to just repeat the reasons you gave for him not liking Rodolpho: try to add further information). Marco is very proud of his family at home in Italy: “…The older one is sick in his chest. My wife – she feeds them from her own mouth. I tell you the truth, if I stay there they will never grow up. They eat the sunshine.” Why do you think this is important to Eddie? How does it help their relationship to form?
When Louis and Mike discuss Marco, they describe him as “… a regular slave” What does this show about Marco as a person? Why does Marco work so hard? Marco, however, will ultimately defend his brother. This is particularly apparent after Eddie ‘teaches’ Rodolpho boxing. “Can you lift this chair?” Why do you think Marco does this? Is it just to prove he is stronger than Eddie? Marco’s character: a stereotypical male?
Marco is outraged when he realises that Eddie has informed immigration of their entry to America. The stage directions tell us [ Marco suddenly breaks from the group …Marco spits in Eddie’s face.] Why does Marco do this? What does he do to Eddie’s reputation? It comes as no surprise to the audience when Eddie dies in the final scene. The stage directions tell us [Eddie lunges with the knife. Marco grabs his arm, turning the blade inward and pressing it home…] How does Eddie’s pride cause his death? Does Marco really intend to kill him? Why? Marco’s character: a stereotypical male?
Write a paragraph about how Marco does meet Eddie’s standards of manliness. Cover these points: Why Eddie addresses Marco when the cousins first arrive. Could there be more than one reason for this? How Eddie feels about Marco’s pride in his family. How Mike and Louis feels about Marco’s work. How Marco feels when Eddie decides to ‘teach’ Rodolpho boxing. What Marco aims to prove by spitting in Eddie’s face. How does Eddie make his own death inevitable? Refer back to earlier slides to help you. Remember: you MUST NOT copy ANY of the sentences within these slides (although you may use them to guide you) ALSO REMEMBER THAT YOU MUST USE POINT, QUOTE, COMMENT IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE ABOVE AN E GRADE.
The link between manliness, hostility and aggression Manliness Eddie has very strong ideas of what it takes to be a man. Rodolpho does not meet Eddie’s high standards. Marco appears to be accepted. Hostility Eddie is hostile (unfriendly) to Rodolpho, just because he doesn’t meet Eddie’s expectations Marco is hostile to Eddie when Eddie decides to ‘teach’ Rodolpho boxing Eddie turning the brothers into the authorities to get his own way Eddie threatening to kill Marco because he ruined his name and reputation. Aggression Eddie ‘teaching’ Rodolpho boxing when all he wants to do is hit him and make him feel small. Marco challenging Eddie Marco spitting in Eddie’s face The final conflict.
The link between manliness, hostility and aggression You need to consider how these ideas are linked in the play. Remember Eddie is not very well educated and finds it difficult to understand or express his feelings so often responds to threatening situations with verbal or physical aggression. What qualities can we find to admire in Eddie, Marco and Rodolpho?
The link between manliness, hostility and aggression Cover these points: How Eddie’s initial manliness leads to hostility between the characters and eventually aggression. This paragraph does not need to be particularly long, it is a conclusion of work that you have done so far. Refer back to earlier slides to help you. Remember: you MUST NOT copy ANY of the sentences within these slides (although you may use them to guide you)
Historical and Cultural Context The play is set in Red Hook, a slum area, in Brooklyn in the 1950s. Alfieri views the drama from the Brooklyn Bridge. Remember that illegal immigrants came to America after World War II in search of the ‘American Dream’. They believed that everyone could achieve their dreams in life through hard work. Remember too that the Sicilian code of conduct meant that family honour came before the law of the land. Add a few sentences to your conclusion summarising how the play relates to contemporary America.