The tragic ending in Arthur Miller’s play

Eddie’s actions could also be a main culprit. The first action we question is when he enveloped Catherine with his eyes. We know this isn’t normal behaviour for an uncle, and this already spells trouble. When Rodolfo arrives, Eddie is soon to give him boxing lessons. This might be to impress Catherine, to take his anger out on Rodolfo, to make Rodolfo look weak or even prove how Rodolfo is homosexual. Eddie “mildly staggers Rodolfo”. This maddens Marco, who “rises” on occasion. When Rodolfo realised Eddie’s intentions, he danced with Catherine to possibly anger Eddie.

Marco got his revenge however, by proving his own strength. In doing so, Marco’s face displayed a “glare of warning”. From this point on, the cousins have it in for Eddie. Rodolfo and Catherine’s love became stronger which resulted in them planning to marry. Eddie tried everything he could to prevent this from happening, including kissing both Catherine and Rodolfo to prove Rodolfo’s homosexuality. He fails miserably. Eddie finally turned to his last resort, contacting the immigration bureau. This proves a lot to the audience, as we know how much Eddie’s pride means to him.

Eddie explained at the beginning of the play how all Italian communities stick together. “The whole neighbourhood was cryin’ ” when a stool pigeon snitched on illegal immigrants. Eddie seemed dead set against stool pigeons. Bearing this in mind, we realise how much Catherine means to him, to put his own pride and loyalty at stake for the sake of her. Eddie again ignored the lawyer’s advice and contacted the immigration bureau. If only he had taken one word of advice… Although Marco was the character who killed Eddie, he is certainly not solely responsible for the death. Eddie had brought the knife in order to kill Rodolfo.

If this knife had have been left in the flat who knows what could have happened. Therefore, I do feel Eddie is the main culprit in his own killing. Although Eddie is much to blame, other characters’ feelings and actions had a bearing on events, which influenced the dramatic ending of the play. Catherine is the second character I would put the blame on. Early on in the play, she could have said something to Eddie to stop him feeling the way he did. Instead, she lapped up the attention. She flirted with him to a certain extent in order for favours. Eddie could’ve taken this the wrong way, and felt she liked him in the same manner.

When the submarines arrived, she had feelings for Rodolfo straight away, making it obvious she had an interest in him. She paid a great deal of attention towards Rodolfo by pointing out how “he’s a real blond”, and asking him personal questions about his marital status. She’s fascinated with him, “he’s terrific”. Meanwhile, Beatrice didn’t put her foot down at any point, the way she did with Eddie, so maybe the way in which Catherine acted was acceptable. But, the way Catherine reacted to Eddie’s obsession didn’t help the outcome. Rodolfo could also be a culprit of Eddie’s demise.

Rodolfo didn’t state to Eddie how he felt about Catherine may have caused Eddie to jump to conclusions about what he felt Rodolfo actually wanted from an American marriage. Rodolfo didn’t ask permission to take Catherine out either. This slowly infuriated Eddie, but if he just used this as another excuse, we don’t know. Rodolfo also infuriated Eddie by dancing with Catherine in front of him, and by singing a song, supposedly aimed at Catherine. This obviously made the situation worse, as Eddie disliked him enough already. Whether the outcome would be different if Rodolfo had obeyed Eddie in this way, we can’t tell.

Whilst blaming all these characters, we can’t forget how Eddie was killed, by Marco. I feel though that Marco is not blameworthy other than in the fact that he carried out the murder. Likewise with Beatrice. Although she claimed they were all to blame, she herself, I feel is in no way culpable. She tried to differ Eddie’s feelings, but no one in her position would’ve been able to make an obsessed man, with “eyes like tunnels” to think otherwise. Alfieri also tried to advise Eddie, which obviously didn’t work. All Alfieri could do, was advise within the law, which contrasted greatly from what Eddie actually wanted.

The American law was fair in my eyes. It just seemed unjust for Eddie, whilst everyone else lived happily within its rules. I don’t believe fate played a part in the final scenes. Although Alfieri did seem to believe very much in fate and destiny. He pointed out how “Eddie Carbone had never expected to have a destiny” very early on in the play. Of course, Eddie did seem to have a destiny. But, I do not believe fate controlled Eddie into having a destiny. I do feel that when events unfolded we fitted pieces of a jigsaw together, and did consider unseen possibilities such as fate and destiny.

The submarines on arrival in America did have to take on the American law, which at the time differed a lot from the Italian one. It seemed as though it was easier to follow the Italian law and culture but I do feel throughout that both cultures and laws treated each character justly. With all these factors considered, I do disagree with Beatrice on how they were all to blame. If I had to blame one character only for Eddie’s downfall it would be Eddie himself, but Catherine and Rodolfo didn’t help make the situation any better by their actions throughout the play.

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