Marco seems rather shy as he only gives very short answers. When Eddie asks him if it is still bad in Italy he replies, “Bad, yes” without getting into detail about the situation. Rodolfo, on the other hand, seems very talkative. When Catherine asks him why they don’t have automobile taxis in Italy he answers, “There is one. We push that too…. Everything in our town, you gotta push! ” He gives much more detailed answers than his brother. This makes Marco look shy but maybe he is just more responsible than Rodolfo and understands that he cannot give anything away about how he came to the country.
Eddie directs all of his questions to Marco and doesn’t seem to want to talk to Rodolfo much. When Rodolfo sings Eddie tells him to stop, saying “Because we never had no singers here… and all of a sudden there’s a singer in the house… ” but this could just be because he dislikes Rodolfo as Catherine seems to have taken a liking to him, and just because he was singing wouldn’t mean that people would think it was suspicious. This leads us to think that not only does he want the attention not on the family, but not on Rodolfo either.
Eddie especially seems to want Catherine not to be noticed because he hardly speaks to her all night and he says to her, “What are the heels for Garbo? ” about her shoes and she replies “I figured for tonight -” but then he interrupts and tells her to change them. Since he was going to let Beatrice make the house all clean it is unfair that he won’t let Catherine wear anything special. This could also be related to when, earlier in the play, he made comments about her skirt being too short before the cousins arrived but he already knew at that point that they were there.
However, Eddie cannot stop Catherine and Rodolfo forming a bond and soon he has no power over her, like when she and Rodolfo go to see a film and he says to Beatrice, “It’s after eight. ” Also when she gets home he checks up to see which cinema she went to. We saw earlier in the play that Eddie doesn’t like Catherine going out when Beatrice said to him, “you gonna keep her in the house all her life? ” and now that she has started to go off with other people he is very worried and anxious.
Beatrice is relaxed and calm about Catherine being late so maybe Eddie has stronger feelings for Catherine than we would expect an uncle to have. Eddie then tries to steer Catherine away from Rodolfo by telling her that he is only pretending to like her so she will marry him and then he will become an American citizen but Catherine does not believe him. He also repeatedly tells Catherine and Beatrice that Rodolfo is homosexual and always uses the same phrase: “The guy ain’t right. ” Eddie then goes onto teasing Rodolfo. When Marco tells them that Rodolfo can cook, Eddie says, “It’s wonderful.
He sings, he cooks, he could make dresses… ” Eddie says this sarcastically but Rodolfo takes it as a genuine compliment and Catherine tries to stick up for him by saying that cooks could get a lot of money. Eddie feels that Catherine is drifting further and further away from him. He even tells her, “I don’t see you no more” and “I don’t know how to talk to you”. As Eddie’s apparent concern grows, Beatrice always tries to make the peace. When Catherine is late home she makes sure that Eddie knows that it was because the film ended late to avoid any conflict in case Eddie thought it was Catherine’s fault.
When Eddie makes fun of Rodolfo singing, cooking and sewing she sticks up for him by saying, “Well it’s good, he could always make a living. ” Beatrice realises that Eddie has these overprotective instincts towards Catherine and she tries to put his mind at rest. The audience here, though, can see that Eddie’s feelings are unnatural and that he is just trying to break up the relationship between Rodolfo and Catherine because he is jealous. Some of the stage directions give hints about Eddie’s true feelings like when Catherine is walking towards him Miller has written ‘he can’t help smiling at the sight of her’.
This may not seem obvious but he has just been anxious and worried about where she has been so for him to smile when anyone in the same situation would be angry gives us an indication of his strong feelings for her. Throughout the play, the lawyer Alfieri has been seen regularly and he has several roles in the play. His most obvious role is Eddie’s lawyer, offering him advice. His other role is as a sort of subtle narrator. He talks to the audience but instead of telling them what is going to happen, he tells them his feelings about things that will happen.
His character is sort of set apart from everyone else in the play. He can be talking to Eddie at one point then turn to the audience and talk about things which happened a month later. The way that he tells us of his feelings about what has happened leaves us intrigued to know what he is talking about but we feel the tension because of what he actually says, for example, “It was at this time that he first came to me. ” Alfieri has not been on the stage in the previous scene so we get the impression that he knows something that we do not and also he says “…