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Arthur Miller said that Marco was 'an implacable avenger' - do you agree?

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Introduction

ARTHUR MILLER SAID THAT MARCO WAS 'AN IMPLACABLE AVENGER'. DO YOU AGREE? Marco is an Italian immigrant that moved illegally to the United States with his brother Rodolpho to work as longshoremen, since the time Italy, was going through a major economic depression. In the play, we are told that Marco's plan is to make enough money to survive and be able to send to his wife and children in Italy, who are starving. He comes across as a very caring and respectful young man. Marco's character is definitely expressed more by his actions than by his words. As the play progresses his actions, lead us to discover a violent side, which he uses to defend his honor on many occasions. Family means a lot to Marco, and just like Eddie he will always try to get justice if someone does something against them. He believes strongly in the old Sicilian code, of revenge. When he is told that he must return home, he cannot believe that although Eddie committed the worst crime under his unwritten law, he cannot be punished under American Law. He says, "In my country he would be dead now. ...read more.

Middle

In this community, justice for a crime is very important, especially for men such as Eddie and Marco who value their respect and family above everything else. Marco feels as though he has been completely betrayed by Eddie and must now return home to Sicily without the money to feed his starving children. Therefore, Eddie must be repaid. After Marco spits in Eddie's face, he insists that Marco apologizes and takes back his public denouncement of him. He has lost his name - his pride, honor and respect in the community. As Catherine says, "Nobody is gonna talk to him again if he lives to a hundred." He believes that Marco took the name and when he says he will kill him, he is not just threatening but is willing to kill Marco, a member of his family, for his name. There is great conflict between community and American law in the play. The community abides by Sicilian-American customs protects illegal immigrants within their homes, values respect and family, is hard working and know the shipping culture, has strong associations with names, believes in trust and wants revenge when a member has been wronged. ...read more.

Conclusion

This play shows quite how important a man's family and name are to him in this Sicilian community, especially to men such as Eddie and Marco. Their similarity in want of revenge and refusal to compromise contributed to Eddie's death, yet it was mainly caused by Eddie alone. What he never realised was that he took his own name. He saw only one view throughout the play and acted without considering the consequences. Had he not been so desperate to separate Catherine and Rodolfo and to prove how Rodolfo was not a real man, he would never have angered Marco and the two might have remained in a respectful, trusting relationship. But once they were on opposing sides the determination they both had to find justice and protect their own honour and the willingness of them both to sacrifice everything for it was fatal. Of all the many relationships in the play, it is this one that ultimately destroys the family because the two people are the two with strength - indeed the two 'real men' - and they are both of the same violent breed. As Alfieri said, 'it is better to settle for half', yet settling for half was never an option for Eddie or Marco so death was the only possible ending. ...read more.

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