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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Characters

Tools of Characterization

Character Analysis

Speech and Dialogue

Miller uses three distinct dialects to differentiate between the characters. The most dominant one is what we'll call "Brooklynese." It's the hard edged way of speaking that was typical of, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Eddie, Beatrice, and Catherine all speak this way. Then there's Marco and Rodolpho. They speak English with a distinctly Italian accent. Their speech seems much more flowing and at times poetic. Last of all there's Alfieri. He's the only character with a high level of education. The sophistication of his word choices reflects that. The lawyer makes lots of references to history and philosophical concepts, making him stand out distinctly from the other characters.

Actions

Every other character tries to make some kind of compromise for him. Rodolpho apologizes. Marco constantly defers to his irrational demands. Catherine and Beatrice's entire lives have been one big compromise. Eddie, though, tears the down the walls of his entire life just to have his way.

Social Status

Social Status is a constant issue in the play. Eddie is the dominant male of the family. That makes him the king. According to society's unwritten laws, everybody is supposed to do what he says. Catherine and Beatrice have next to no rights, because they're women. Even Marco and Rodolpho are under his thumb, because they're guests in his house. Whenever Eddie perceives that his power is being threatened, problems ensue. You could actually interpret the whole play as Eddie trying to regain his stolen kingdom from the evil Italian invaders.

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