The play feels like a formulaic tale that’s been constructed around ideas, rather than a story of flesh-and-blood people. For instance, the storyline blanks out any other things outside this main story like: The Carbone’s childless marriage Katie’s birth father Eddie’s side of the family. Miller covers some taboo issues and irony that make it more interesting and intriguing, as they were at that time viewed as wrong to have seen in a theatrical production:
At times, Eddie was so convinced that Rodolpho was a homosexual and that he was unsuitable for Catherine that he practically stated it several times, “that guy ain’t right” and in the scene where “RODOLPHO flies at him in attack. EDDIE pins his arms, laughing, and suddenly kisses him … he laughs mockingly at RODOLPHO.” The end sequence where Eddie battles with Marco is an imperative part of the play where the knife that ends Eddie’s life seems to represent his self-destructive nature, where his feelings drove him to such drastic actions that it eventually led to death.
From the time when Marco faces up to Eddie’s authority by lifting up the chair by the bottom of one of the it’s legs, and “MARCO is face to face with EDDIE … he transforms what might appear like a glare of warning into a smile of triumph, and EDDIE’s grin vanishes as he absorbs his look.” Marco proved his strength, and that he’s not afraid of Eddie, warning him to ‘back off’. This could possibly have symbolized the fight at the end of the dramatic piece.
Earlier mentioned was Beatrice’s link to all of the characters. But in the end, ironically she’s left with no one (as Eddie was killed, Catherine gets married to Rodolpho, and Marco is likely taken to court or sent back to Italy for the crime he had committed). Catherine’s close relationship with Eddie shown at the beginning of the play is torn down gradually. It disintegrates from her being vulnerable as she was ‘almost in tears’ when he disapproved of her, to her realizing her opportunity to become a lady and to defend herself, especially against Eddie.
Even after Alfieri warns Eddie that, “Put it out of your mind,” Eddie carries out his plan to betray Marco and Rodolpho, even going against the rules set by the community. He follows in the footsteps of Vinny Bolzano, in spite of his discussion with Catherine and Beatrice at the beginning about how that incident was disgraceful. It does bring up real life occurrences, which some can probably relate to. I find that the extremes reached by it make it more of a successful play. It keeps tension, feelings and apprehension on the audience. We see how effectively Arthur Miller presents his plays. Together, the issues brought out in this play make us question our morals and opinions in our judgement of others. But then what qualifies one set of values above another?