When Marco First Appears, Miller Describes Him as a Square-built

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When Marco First Appears, Miller Describes Him as a Square-built

peasant of thirty-two, suspicious, tender and quiet voiced.In the

Light of Marco's Role in the Play, How Helpful Do You Find this

Introduction to Him?

When considering this question, it is necessary to somewhat challenge

it; to whom is Miller's description meant to be helpful? As "A View

From the Bridge" is a play, and therefore presented to an audience, we

must presume that the description's intended use is to instruct an

actor developing his character which is to be conveyed to an audience.

Marco's role becomes more important throughout the play. In fact, his

role assumes a certain duality. In one respect, he is the victim of

Eddie's betrayal; he declares:

"That one! [Eddie] He killed my children."

In another respect, he is employed by Miller as a tool in the finality

of Eddie's fate as his murderer. This increasing significance of

Marco's role is not at first glance anticipated by Miller's

introductory description as physically he appears to the audience as

rather solid and the simplicity of the physical description helps to

establish Marco as an initially somewhat simple character. However,

the instructions that refer to Marco's emotions are more complex;

"suspicious" and "tender"might appear contrasting, especially when

juxtaposed contextually. However, with a Sicilian male typical

attitude, they seem more compatible. Marco is reduced to tears at the

prospect of sending his family money, and later will commit the

arguably transgress act of murdering a man who had been his host, so

acute is his anger on behalf of his starving, dependent family:

"My wife- My wife- I want to send right away maybe twenty dollars."

Marco almost ...

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...ene is seen as a good man who is in charge

of his family, and Marco, a "simple" Sicilian, who just came to

America and was invited into the family by Eddie himself, is very

exciting for the audience. It is therefore obvious in this scene that

Marco is "suspicious" of Eddie. Furthermore, Marco's role as the tool

Miller uses for Eddie's downfall, could not occur if Marco was not


In conclusion, Miller's introductory description is only helpful to a

limited degree both because of the nature of the text (it is a play)

and because Marco will endure such great betrayals that they will

change his character and actions. However, Miller gives the audience

ideas about what sort of man Miller is describing, enabling the

audience to anticipate the contrasts he may be serving to accentuate,

such as the difference in attitudes between Rodolpho and Marco.
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