In What Ways Does This Extract Reveal

Essay, Research Paper

It is evident from the beginning of this extract that the character of Rodolpho plays a key part in how the story unfurls and how the character’s relationships progress. The two brothers are newcomers to the well-established community and have to tread carefully and politely with their hosts. Rodolpho is more outgoing, forward and jovial and is quick to strike up a conversation. He always shows deference towards his older brother in how he looks for a nod of permission before doing anything, or how questions are answered and clarified with the help of Marco. As Eddie likes to think of himself as the dominant member of the family and assumes head roles when confrontations and difficulties arise, it is natural for him to ‘test’ and subtly challenge this outside force which is trying to make itself part of the recognised community. In the extract we see Eddie intentionally create an uncomfortable or ‘charged’ atmosphere by commenting on Rodolpho and his actions as Eddie himself is uncomfortable with such a person that he considers to be deviating from his own narrow-minded and categorised ideas of people. This is even reflected in the stage directions where Eddie asserts himself as the head of the family. CATHERINE [enthralled]: Leave him finish, it’s beautiful! [To BEATRICE] He’s terrific! It’s terrific Rodolpho. EDDIE: Look kid; you don’t want to get picked up, do ya? MARCO: No – no! [He rises] This is typical of Eddie as he senses that Rodolpho is somewhat effeminate in his actions and asserts himself over it and inadvertently displays his uncertainty of Rodolpho. This shall be the basis for the complications of the following scenes and shows how Eddie’s reactions like this are instrumental in his ultimate downfall. Marco’s appearance in the above extract shows how perceptive and attentive he is to his surroundings, instantly realising a potential difficulty and always looking for a solution. Marco is quite reserved and knows he is a guest and so does his best to subdue any difficulties where his brother is concerned. Beatrice is an essential character for the pace and sobriety of the play. It is Beatrice who is quick to ‘keep the ball rolling’ in a conversation and to help gloss over and neutralise difficulties and reactions in the many conversations. Beatrice is very attentive and it is in these pages that she develops her ‘mediator’ stance and role in the play and it is very much as a pacifier how the audience sees her. Beatrice also features heavily when not speaking, it is in the stage directions that we can see how she diverts attention calmly and swiftly away from trouble and diffuses arguments by acting out movements and actions. There is also an evident tension created by Eddie’s actions towards Catherine. Eddie realises that Rodolpho could be a ‘threat’ to the ideal he has of Catherine as we know he is loath to ‘let her go’. A lot of the atmosphere created by Eddie towards Rodolpho is generated because of this. In these pages, Eddie tries to step in between Rodolpho and Catherine and it is because of weakness of suppressing feelings in that they will always manifest themselves that he scolds Catherine for any involvement with Rodolpho. CATHERINE: You Like sugar? RODOLPHO: Sugar? Yes! I like sugar very much! [EDDIE is downstage, watching as she pours a spoonful of sugar into his cup, his face puffed with rouble, and the room dies.] [RODOLPHO nods. EDDIE has risen, with iron control, even a smile. He moves to CATHERINE.] EDDIE: What’s the high heels for, Garbo? CATHERINE: I figured for tonight – EDDIE: Do me a favour, will you? Go ahead. [Embarrassed now, angered, CATHERINE goes out into the bedroom. BEATRICE watches her go and gets up; in passing, she gives EDDIE a cold look, restrained only by the strangers, she goes to the table to pour coffee.]


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