This play is a comedy and therefore it ends happily. There are humorous incidents throughout. This humour is used to lighten the more serious themes such as war and nationalism.


Many of the characters speak in a humorous way. The dialogue is fast-paced and funny. For example Rosinella and Massimo engage in good-natured banter about how they met.

Some characters use humour as a coping mechanism. For example, when Massimo's father is arrested he jokes:

What the bloody hell d'you want me to do? Lie down and let the bastards shoot me?

Physical comedy

The play includes physical comedy – Bridget’s bad dancing, Massimo stripping to give Luigi his clothes, Lucia’s panic at a spider on her back, Rosinella rubbing lotion on Hughie’s sunburn. These humorous moments balance the darker aspects of the play and keep it entertaining.

Humour is a feature at the end of the play. When Hughie and Rosinella attempt to rescue Lucia from her father's house, the scene acts as a romantic reference to Romeo and Juliet. But here a comical situation unfolds as they set up a ladder to the wrong window and Rosinella climbs up into the wrong room.

As a comedy, the play is amusing and ends happily.