Character Essay

After reading Arthur Miller\'s play "A view from the bridge,"
I am convinced that the most striking character is Marco. He is
an Italian immigrant that moved illegally to the United States
with his brother Rodolpho to work as longshoremen, since at the
time (the play was written in 1955) his country of origin, Italy,
was going through a major economic depression because of the
outcome of World War II. In the play, we are told that Marco\'s
plan is to make enough money to survive and be able to send some
of that money to his wife and his three kids back in Italy, who
are starving. Marco physically resembles the Sicilian stereotype,
with dark skin and dark hair. He is also very strong and he could
easily "load the whole ship by himself."(pg.541) In this play,
the author uses plot, dialog, actions and symbolism to emphasize
Marco\'s honor which, in my opinion, is his prominent
characteristic.
Throughout the play, we can clearly see that the plot helps
us develop Marco\'s character in our imagination. For example, he
is an illegal alien, and this might give the reader a less
honorable view of him, and it might justify Eddie\'s action. But
the fact that Marco left his family to give them support and to
save his oldest son who is "sick in the chest," (pg. 535) makes
the reader forget about his illegal stay and makes his status
rise to the one of a hero.
In this play, Marco\'s actions lead us to the discovery of a
violent side which he uses to defend his honor in a number of
occasions. For example, when he challenges Eddie to lift the
chair at the end of the first act, we understand that he did it
to save his brother\'s face and his family\'s honor. In addition,
the killing of Eddie by Marco\'s own hands at the end of the play,
is the final display of his character. Marco\'s character is
definitely expressed more by his actions than by his words. He
is very strong, and he is obviously aware of that, but doesn\'t
like to show it in words, or brag about it. In fact, when Eddie
was making fun of his brother Rodolpho, instead of replying to
him in words, he chose to use his strenght to get his point
across by lifting the chair. In addition, Marco doesn\'t talk
about his family much; instead, he works as hard as he can, and
that is enough to show everybody how much he cares about them. As
a final insult to Eddie, Marco chooses to spit in his face in
front of everybody. This is because in the Italian culture, that
act is considered as an extreme expression of anger toward a
person, and it is rarely left without punishment. In addition,
the action of going to the church before facing Eddie shows us
that he is very religious and cares about his soul.
Marco is a very honorable man and believes in his tradition,
and the author shows us that through a number of symbols. For
example, spitting on Eddie\'s face once he realizes that Eddie
turned him and his brother to the police is a symbol of disgust
and revolt for Eddie\'s actions. In addition, at the end of the
play, we are told that Marco went to church before going to talk
to Eddie. This action tells us that Marco is ready to give up
his life and commit a mortal sin to defend his honor, because
what Eddie has done, the breaking of the "omerta\'", the breaking
of trust, is something that in his culture must never be left
unpunished.
Throughout the first act of the play, Marco is only referred
as a flat character and the only time we are really aware his
persona and his strength is at the end of the first act, when he
lifts a chair over his head and makes it seem like a challenge to
Eddie, as a response for mocking Rodolpho. But only in the second
act his character is fully exposed and we see his image transform
into a round character. In this play, Marco is portrayed as the
victim, since he