How are Marco and Rodolpho initially presented in "A View From the Bridge"?

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How are Marco and Rodolpho initially presented in A View From the Bridge?

From Marco’s first appearance on stage it is clear that Miller intended to portray him as cautious and respectful. In the stage directions, Miller describes him as “suspicious, tender”. The use of the word “suspicious” tells us that Marco is aware of the dangers he and his brother face as immigrants and as such trusts very few people. The word “tender” supports this idea as it implies that Marco is being careful about what he says as well as being careful to not overstep any boundaries, an idea further supported by the fact that he either sticks only to one or two word answers such as “thank you” or just nodding. The way Marco has been presented shows that he is very careful by nature and as such will obey those who are in charge. This is first demonstrated after the brothers enter the apartment. After addressing Beatrice, the first thing that Marco tells Eddie is that when “ you (Eddie) say go, we will go”. Almost immediately after meeting the Carbone family Marco states that he will obey Eddies commands and in doing so establishes a hierarchy, in which Eddie is at the highest point. When asked about the condition of life in Italy Marco responds by saying it's “bad”. Though on the surface this seems like a very basic description when taken into context it displays just how horrible conditions are there. Marco states that his eldest son is “sick in the chest” and that if he had stayed “they (the children) will never grow up”. These sentences show the suffering present in Italy and the fact that Marco doesn’t explicitly refer to the possibility of his children dying and rather only vaguely hints to it shows the fact that while he knows that it is a possibility he refuses to accept it. So when Marco describes the situation as “bad” what Miller is doing is allowing the audience to imagine for themselves just how bad the situation is. This explains why Marco has come to the US; he is trying to support his family back home and ensure their survival.

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When Rodolpho first sees the house he exclaims that he thought the Carbone’s “were poor”. This implies that Rodolpho is seeing their house as very big compared to what he would be used to, which shows just how poor Rodolpho’s family are. Additionally the way Miller has Rodolpho speak this line shows a lot about his character; Miller presents him as excitable and naive through the fact that while Marco is being quiet and careful Rodolpho is talking loudly and being playful. This idea is added onto when Rodolpho answers Catherine’s question about her appearance by saying the “Danes ...

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