Eddie is a Patriarch (provides for his family and is in charge of the household).
Italian American, his father moved to Brooklyn from Italy.
He is in love with Catherine and this is the cause for most of his actions (although he doesnt realise untill the end that he feels more for her than just as a father figure)
Married to Beatrice but is Impotent. "when am I gonna be a wife again Eddie?"-Beatrice
Possessive over Catherine. He doesn't want her going out with Rodolfo outside Brooklyn.
He tries to dishonour Rodolpho by telling Alfieri he thinks that Rodolfo is homosexual. "the guy ain't right Mr Alfieri"-Eddie
He understands what would happen to him if he tells immigration about Marco and Rodolfo. He tells Catherine the story of Vinnie Bolzano (a boy who snitched to immigration and was beaten up by his family). This is because he understands the community he lives in but he still does it out of love for Catherine.
Married to Eddie, archetype of housewife in the 50s (homemaker).
She is a strong woman who always tries to provide for people ("I don't even have nothin' to eat for them") but stands up for herself against Eddie ("you can never have her").
She knows that Eddie loves Catherine more than as a daughter and tells Catherine she has to stop being so flirty around him.
Doesn't desert Eddie even at the end when he is dying. He dies in her arms.
She has lots of reasons to be jealous of Catherine but she is still nice to her and doesn't hold a grudge against her.
Marco and Rodolfo are her cousins.
She falls in love with Rodolfo and is due to marry him by the end of the play.
She has never left Brooklyn before as Eddie doesn't allow her. "I was never even in Staten Island".
The arrival of Rodolfo provides an outlet for her confusion/sexuality as she is becoming a woman but her new adulthood is surpressed by Eddie.
Throughout the play she is struggling for independence.
At one point in the play it says that Catherine lights Eddie's cigar. This could be viewed as sexual but it is interesting that it is done in the context of a girl helping a father figure.
Catharine is the catalyst for change throughout the play and gives Beatrice a reason to confront Eddie about his feelings for Catherine and his impotency.
Alfieri acts as a greek chorus. He comments on the actions of the main characters and provides an objective viewpoint.
As both a lawyer and Italian American he can understand the Civil law and the kind of unspoken code of conduct that the immigrants live their lives by.
He advises Eddie not to inform on the immigrants as he understands what the reaction of the italian community would be.
He is the bridge between the laws of honour and pride that Eddie and the other italians live by and the laws of America. This is reflected when he tells Eddie "morally and legally you have no rights".
Alfieri is consulted by Eddie as a last resort before he contacts the immigration bureau.
The use of Alfieri is significant as he is only one of the many tragic conventions that Miller uses in the play.