Throughout my essay I will be concentrating on the character of Marco and Eddie and their relationship with each other and other characters. I will be focusing on the themes of justice and honour and the cultural contrasts between Marcos home country, Italy, and Eddies home country North America. I will also be looking at the stage directions and whether or not this play is very effective. In this section I will look at both Eddie and Marco’s characters and their relationships with the other people in the play.
Eddie is a middle-aged man who is married to Beatrice and lives with his 17-year-old niece Catherine. Eddie is a very protective and powerful character in the play he is a very short tempered, strong boxer and is also uneducated and has spent most of his life working. His marriage is put under pressure by the arrival of Beatrice’s cousins from Italy, Marco and Radolpho. Eddie has always liked Marco however he is not keen on Rodolpho he thinks he ‘Ain’t right’ as he thinks he is not good enough for Catherine. Eddie is very overprotective of his niece Catherine.
Catherine is set to marry Rodolpho and Eddie is completely set against the idea as he believes he only wants to marry her in order to get an American passport so that he can work over here. Although Catherine loves Rodolpho and wishes to marry him she doesn’t want to hurt Eddie she just wants to prove to Eddie that she is an independent women. Another reason why Eddie is set against the idea of Catherine marrying Rodolpho is that now there is another man in Catherine’s life and he is jealous and feels that Rodolpho will take his place.
Eddie would like to keep Catherine and doesn’t want their relationship to change, which is why he is also against the idea of her getting a job. This unhealthy obsession that Eddie has for Catherine also causes friction between him and Beatrice. Beatrice keeps telling Eddie to leave Catherine alone and allow her to stand on her own two feet. Marco on the other hand is a calm person and promises Alfieri not to cause any trouble. with Eddie. Marco does not like Eddie for the way he is treating Beatrice and Rodolpho.
He spits in eddies face and calls him an ‘animal’. It is Marco who kills Eddie at the end of the play. The cultural difference between Italy and America and the theme of justice and honour is what I will be looking at in detail in this section of my essay. There are two contrasting types of justice and Alfieri who is a lawyer shows honour in the play shows the first theme of justice. He shows the legal theme of justice. I Alfieri’s first speech to Eddie about the situation with Marco he begins with ‘ I don’t quite know understand what I can do for you.
Is there a question of law somewhere’. During the speech Alfieri keeps expressing the point to Eddie that nothing can be done he keeps repeating words such as ‘law’ legal/ly’ ‘proof/provable’. Whereas Eddie keeps using words such as ‘I see’ I mean’ right? ‘ Alfieri tells Eddie there is no way the law can help him in this situation. This shocks Eddie and forces him to take the law into his own hands and resolve the problem himself. The other type of justice in the play is that showed by Marco at the end of the play when he kills Eddie.
Marco believes that Eddie has betrayed him and his family by calling the immigration on him and Rodolpho Marco and his comments mainly show the cultural differences. For example when talking about Eddie he says ‘in my country he would be dead now’ Marco cannot see how there can be no law against a man who ruins a family. Marco cannot adjust from his old codes of honour. In this section I will be looking at the way Arthur miller uses stage directions throughout the play and the tragic chorus made by Alfieri.