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Rodolpho, the platinum blonde is a cooking, sewing, and dancing full-blooded Italian, and the greatest threat to Eddie Carbone. The play really does not fill out the character of Rodolpho as an individual, whose motivations are left as unknowns. Unlike Beatrice and Catherine, who we hear talking together about their thoughts and feelings, Rodolpho reveals little about himself. There are many questions left unanswered including his sexuality, his love for Catherine, and whether he actually forgives Eddie at the play's conclusion. Much depends on the actor playing Rodolpho to make clear character choices for this character because he is rather vague in the script.
The audience really never even knows if Rodolpho truly loves Catherine. Their romance is curiously devoid of passion. Unlike his Italian brother Marco, Rodolpho does not seek revenge on Eddie for calling Immigration or abusing his fiance in front of him. It is very clear that Rodolpho wants to be an American citizen at all costs and there is a great possibility that he does not love Catherine. Like Eddie fears, Rodolpho may only want to gain citizenship through their marriage. The conversation between Rodolpho and Catherine in the beginning of Act II does little to clarify this issue. Catherine does ask him whether he would marry him if they had to move to Italy, but Rodolpho does not seem sincere. Rodolpho never once describes why he wants to marry Catherine, he just wants to get married to someone in the U.S. where there is work. Rodolpho is a complex character and seems more a montage of conflicts to heighten the action of the play rather than a full person. Rodolpho is constructed as a foil for Eddie Carbone, but like the women of the play, he has little life of his own.
Ace your assignments with our guide to A View from the Bridge!