Arthur Miller discusses several themes in his play. The main three are as follows:
The play is concerned with how justice and the law are applied. It contrasts the justice dealt out in Italy in ancient times with the justice system of modern America. This can be considered as natural law versus the written law.
To be given respect was extremely important to Italian men of earlier generations. Both Eddie and Marco, who hold the old values, are driven to brutal behaviour when they think that they have not been respected properly. In addition, the unwritten Mafia code of silence – omertá – is an important theme which casts its shadow over events in the play.
Love in its various forms is shown between different characters as the play unfolds.