What is the significance of Marco in Millers A View from the Bridge ?

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What is the significance of Marco in Miller’s A View from the Bridge?

Miller uses the characters in A View from the Bridge as tool to express his views, in social commentary. Marco, in particular, is used by Miller to symbolise Italian morals, and it's issues. In addition, Marco is used in the play, by Miller, as a figure of masculinity and dominance, but also in stark contrast to this, is portrayed as a very caring and familial figure.

Marco is portrayed as an avid believer in Italian Morals, and associated honesty, respect and justice. This can be seen from the very beginning of the play when Marco pays respect to Eddie, staying there only ‘with his permission’ and ‘going to his hand’ for assisting him in immigrating into the USA and giving him a place to stay. However, he behaves very submissively and does not talk very much throughout the the play, showing that he respects Eddie as leader of the household. However, when Eddie calls the police on Rodolpho and Marco, Marco’s whole persona changes. Because he is so heavily founded on the Italian Moral Code, he accuses Eddie of ‘killing his children’ and he ‘spits’ on him. Although that would not seem to be an especially major act, Marco sees it as an act of public shaming, and Eddie takes huge offense at it, due to their mutual belief in the Italian code of honour. Marco goes on to say how ‘In my country he would be dead’ and how ‘all the law is not in book’ as he attempts to apply the much more flexible Italian morality to a drastically different society, founded on the black-and-white American Law system. In fact, Marco’s persona is so honourable, that he feels it necessary to go and confess before God, before perpetrating the attack on Eddie, and the whole reason that Marco feels it as though it is only fair for Eddie to die is because he has broken the upheld ‘Omertà’ law. However, because Marco relies so heavily on Italian morals, it results not only in the demise of Eddie, but also in the demise of himself. Through Marco, Miller is able to display to need to ‘settle for half’ in a system between black-and-white law, and morality.

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Miller displays Marco in A View from the Bridge as a person who fulfills the stereotype of masculinity, who is is described as a ‘square-built peasant’ who could ‘load the whole boat by himself’. In addition, his physical dominance is asserted over Eddie when he is said to ‘hold the chair like a weapon over his head’, which is the first sign in the play of Marco proving his physical capabilities. Marco chooses not to utilise or assert his strength most of the time, however, and he is described as ‘tender and quiet-voiced’. This is a juxtaposition to the ...

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