A View from the Bridge


Major characters




Marco is intelligent, polite and perceptive. He observes the ‘play-fight’ between Eddie and Rodolpho and perceives that Eddie’s deeper intentions to hurt Rodolpho. The incident where he lifts the chair at the end of Act One is his warning to Eddie not to cross Rodolpho again. This is a clear example of quiet and controlled strength which he keeps firmly under control throughout the play until the final scene where he unleashes his passionate anger against Eddie. Most importantly, he has a passionate sense of honour and when Eddie acts dishonourably by betraying his family, Marco seeks the retribution that he thinks is appropriate: Eddie’s death. Marco does not share Alfieri’s version of the law, which is simply rule-following. Marco thinks that it is up to man to avenge injustices whereas Alfieri believes that only God can dispense retribution and, hence, justice. Miller seems to be trying to create the impression that, while Alfieri’s version of justice is calmer, more sensible and safer, Marco’s version is more moving and captivating, in fact almost intoxicating.



Page No




In the stage instructions Marco is described as ‘a square built peasant of 32, suspicious, tender, quiet voiced.’ His first words are ‘Thank you.’




‘[Marco comes with a certain formal stiffness to Eddie.] I want to tell you now Eddie that when you say go, we will go.’




His answers to questions are short, with regards to work he is looking for ‘Whatever there is, anything.’ and in response to questions about the conditions in Italy he replies simply ‘Bad, yes.’




When Rodolpho is over-excited about the work they can do and the money they can earn, Marco ‘[Raises a hand to hush him.]




When he hears that they can earn thirty to forty dollars a week in the US ‘[His eyes showing tears] My wife – I want to send right away maybe twenty dollars.’




Of Rodolpho’s plans to buy a motorcycle, Marco says ‘When you have no wife you can have dreams.’




‘I say [Marco’s singing at the hotel was too loud]. I knew it as soon as he started to sing. Too loud …They paid for your courage. The English like courage but once is enough.




Mike describes Marco as ‘That older one, boy, he’s a regular bull … he woulda load the whole ship by himself.’ Louis adds ‘He’s a regular slave.’




When Beatrice asks if his wife is pretty, Marco says ‘[blushing] No, but she understands everything.’




When Eddie is upset about Rodolpho and Catherine’s dating, Marco says ‘If he does wrong, you must tell him.’




After the boxing match ‘with strain [he] slowly raises the chair.’ ‘face to face with Eddie a strained tension grasping his eyes and jaw, his neck stiff, the chair raised like a weapon … transforms what might be a glare of warning into a smile of triumph.’




‘In my country he [Eddie] would be dead now.’ ‘Such a promise [not to kill] is dishonourable’. It appears to be ‘a new idea’ when Alfieri says that personal revenge is not the only way to deal with this situation.


Marco however, believes ‘All the law is not in a book.’ and when there is no law for his revenge Marco says ‘I do not understand this country.’




Even though he must go back to Italy, Marco is hopeful for Rodolpho ‘But him? There is a chance, eh? Well … we did something.’




‘Animal! You go on your knees to me!’