English Literature



  • Marco is the older brother of Rodolpho. He comes from a poor village in Sicily. He is Beatrice's cousin.
  • He has left a wife and three children at home, the oldest of whom has tuberculosis. He has come to America so he can earn more money for them than he could at home. It is clear he loves his family very much: he is near tears when he first talks about them to the Carbones.
  • He is anxious not to outstay his welcome with the Carbones: almost his first words are "I want to tell you now, Eddie - when you say we go, we go." He is extremely polite.
  • He always speaks simply and clearly; which indicates his straightforward, uncomplicated character.
  • He is very strong. Eddie's friend Mike describes him as a regular bull.
  • He feels a sense of responsibility for Rodolpho: when Eddie is upset that Catherine and Rodolpho were out late, he warns his brother "You come home early now."
  • However, he is also protective of Rodolpho. After Eddie has punched Rodolpho while 'teaching' him to box, he shows how he can lift a chair above his head with one hand. The stage directions [stage directions: Instructions written into the script of a drama to guide the performers' actions. ] tell us the chair is raised like a weapon over Eddie's head. He is warning Eddie that he will defend Rodolpho if necessary.
  • He has a clear sense of justice. He sees things as right or wrong. When he is arrested, he spits in Eddie's face and accuses Eddie in front of the neighbours - "That one! He killed my children!"
  • His sense of honour is such that if the law can't right a wrong, he will take the law into his own hands. He comes to see Eddie at the end to do what he sees as his duty - even when Alfieri had warned him that only God makes justice. (It is interesting that he breaks his word to Alfieri - he kills Eddie despite having promised he would not.)
  • Do you think that Marco would have killed Eddie if Eddie has not got out a knife? What do you think is Marco's reaction to Eddie's death?

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