A View from the Bridge

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Beatrice Character Analysis

Eddie’s wife, who is suspicious about Eddie’s feelings for Catherine and who tries to encourage Catherine to become more independent. Eddie feels that Beatrice doesn’t respect him because of how much she disagrees with him. But later in the play, Beatrice actually defends Eddie when Catherine finally yells at him and calls him a rat. Despite what misgivings she may have about their marriage and about Eddie’s feelings toward Catherine, she still loves her husband, as can be seen at the end of the play when she holds Eddie as he dies.

Beatrice Quotes in A View from the Bridge

The A View from the Bridge quotes below are all either spoken by Beatrice or refer to Beatrice. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of A View from the Bridge published in 2009.
Act 1 Quotes

Look, you gotta get used to it, she’s no baby no more.

Related Characters: Beatrice (speaker), Eddie Carbone, Catherine
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:

When the family sits down for dinner, Catherine breaks the news to Eddie that she has been offered a job as a stenographer at a plumbing company, where she will earn $50 a week. Eddie immediately objects for a variety of reasons: that Catherine should stay in school (even though the principal set her up with the job, and would still allow her to take the exam to finish her courses at the end of the year), that the neighborhood in which she will work is too dangerous (even though it is one block from the subway, and no more dangerous than Red Hook, where they live), and that Catherine is too young to go to work (even though she is almost eighteen years old, and would bring home $50 a week, a significant sum of money for the family working to make ends meet). 

In this quote, Beatrice sticks up for Catherine, and eventually convinces Eddie to let Catherine go to work. She knows firsthand how overprotective Eddie is of his niece, and also knows that she is Catherine's only advocate in achieving her freedom outside of the home. Beatrice also senses Eddie's affinity for Catherine, one that goes beyond the bond of uncle and niece, even one between an uncle who has been the father figure for a niece. Beatrice's insistence that Eddie allow Catherine to work and get out of the house is, to an extent, self-serving; if Catherine is not around as much, and works to make Eddie see she is no longer "his baby," then Beatrice can be the number one woman in Eddie's life for the first time in years. 

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Eddie:
There was a family lived next door to her mother, he was about sixteen—

Beatrice:
No, he was no more than fourteen, cause I was to his confirmation in Saint Agnes. but the family had an uncle that they were hidin’ in the house, and he snitched to the Immigration.

Catherine:
The kid snitched?

Eddie:
On his own uncle!

Catherine:
What, was he crazy?

Eddie:
He was crazy after, I tell you that, boy.

Beatrice:
Oh, it was terrible. He had five brothers and the old father. And they grabbed him in the kitchen and pulled him down the stairs—three flights his head was bouncin’ like a coconut. And they spit on him in the street, his own father and his brothers. The whole neighborhood was cryin’.

Related Characters: Eddie Carbone (speaker), Beatrice (speaker), Catherine (speaker)
Page Number: 17-18
Explanation and Analysis:

Prior to Marco and Rodolpho arriving at the house, Eddie and Beatrice tell Catherine the cautionary tale of a boy who informed Immigration officers that there was an illegal immigrant, his uncle, living in their house. They do so in order to warn her not to do anything to bring attention to the two illegal Italian immigrants they are soon to have live in their home. This story illustrates the pride that Red Hook residents have in their blood relatives, and the collective horror and shame that the neighborhood feels when someone betrays one of their own. Though the concept of justice is palpable throughout the neighborhood, as Alfieri notes in his opening monologue, it is a kind of vigilante justice rather than one that aligns with the actual law (which would approve of the arrest of an illegal immigrant). This anecdote illustrates how protective each family feels for its members, and the shame and disappointment thrust upon anyone, even a young boy, who betrays it (as Eddie himself will later).

Beatrice:
The girl is gonna be eighteen years old, it’s time already.

Eddie:
B., he’s taking her for a ride!

Beatrice:
All right, that’s her ride. What’re you gonna stand over her till she’s forty?

Related Characters: Eddie Carbone (speaker), Beatrice (speaker), Catherine, Rodolpho
Page Number: 32
Explanation and Analysis:

Rodolpho and Catherine frequently stay out late at the movies, a new development that makes Eddie upset. He claims he worries for her safety, but Beatrice knows it is due to his unusual affinity for Catherine. 

In this quote, Beatrice repeats her refrain to Eddie that Catherine is a grown woman, and is allowed to make her own choices, including what men she associates with and where she spends her evenings. Eddie refutes Beatrice's claim that Catherine is perfectly safe with Rodolpho, and states that he believes Rodolpho is only expressing a passing interest in Catherine until he marries her and acquires American citizenship. Beatrice tells Eddie that that is Catherine's choice. This is clearly true, but as a statement it's likely also self-serving for Beatrice: if Catherine marries Rodolpho, then she will be out of the house, and Eddie will be forced to stop doting upon her. This will make Beatrice less uncomfortable about Eddie's interest in his niece, and will also shift Eddie's attention back to her, his wife. 

It means you gotta be your own self more. You still think you’re a little girl, honey. but nobody else can make up your mind for you any more, you understand? You gotta give him to understand that he can’t give you orders no more.

Related Characters: Beatrice (speaker), Catherine
Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:

Eddie becomes upset about the amount of time Rodolpho and Catherine have been spending together. For years, she has been his "little girl," always doting upon him when he comes home from work, but ever since Rodolpho arrived, they stay out until late at night seeing movies. Eddie confronts Catherine to tell her that he thinks Rodolpho is up to no good, meaning that he is only seeking a green-card marriage. This upsets Catherine, who goes to Beatrice and tells her that while she wants to get married and leave the house one day, she worries about how Eddie will react. 

In this quote, Beatrice tells Catherine that if she wants Eddie to treat her like a grown woman, she has to start acting like one. Eddie and Catherine are very close, since he has been the father figure in her life since she was very little. Their relationship, it seems, has not evolved as she matured into an adult, a stunted growth that has caused tension as Catherine prepares to leave the house in pursuit of marriage and a career. Though Beatrice does not explicitly say that the nature of Catherine and Eddie's relationship makes her uncomfortable, she doesn't only urge Catherine to act more mature for own Catherine's benefit; as Eddie's wife, it also makes Beatrice uncomfortable how much attention her husband pays to their niece. If Eddie cannot learn to treat Catherine like a grown woman, then it is in Beatrice's best interest to urge Catherine to act like one. 

Act 2 Quotes

Eddie:
Didn’t you hear what I told you? You walk out that door to that wedding you ain’t comin’ back here, Beatrice.

Beatrice:
Why! What do you want?

Eddie:
I want my respect. Didn’t you ever hear of that? From my wife?

Related Characters: Eddie Carbone (speaker), Beatrice (speaker), Beatrice
Page Number: 80
Explanation and Analysis:

After Catherine and Rodolpho move out of Eddie's bottom-floor apartment and into a neighbor's flat upstairs, Eddie refuses to speak to them. On their wedding day, he refuses to attend as well, and forbids Beatrice to go.In this quote, Beatrice, fed up with Eddie's irrational anger, says she is going to go anyway. More than space from the couple, Eddie wants his pride back. By losing Catherine, whom he has come to see as his property over the years, he feels as if a part of himself has been "stolen" by Rodolpho. He has no reason for not wanting Beatrice to attend, except out of spite. He knows how much Catherine cares for them, but he feels that her love for him is not enough--if she truly cared for him, she would never leave the house, and would stay as his "paper doll" forever.

Catherine:
How can you listen to him? This rat!

Beatrice:
Don’t you call him that!

Catherine:
What’re you scared of? He’s a rat! He belongs in the sewer!

Related Characters: Beatrice (speaker), Catherine (speaker), Eddie Carbone
Page Number: 81
Explanation and Analysis:

When Eddie refuses to attend Catherine and Rodolpho's wedding until Marco apologizes--and forbids Beatrice to attend as well--Catherine becomes very angry.

In this quote, she calls Eddie a "rat" in an outburst, referring to the fact that he "ratted" on Marco and Rodolpho to Immigration due to his jealousy for Rodolpho's relationship with Catherine. Though Catherine has thus far been reluctant to break ties with Eddie, due to the bond that they have had for the majority of her life, the Red Hook ideals of justice give her license to denounce her uncle in the wake of his betrayal. Just like with the anecdote of the boy who ratted out an uncle at the beginning of the play, the only time that it is communally acceptable to denounce and publicly shame a family member is if they betray another family member.

Beatrice, though initially encouraging of Catherine to become less close with Eddie, is very quick to defend her husband. This defense reveals the self-serving nature of Beatrice's conversations with Catherine, when she told her to grow up and encouraged her to get a job, get married, and leave the house. Beatrice has clearly felt competition with the young girl for Eddie's affection for years. Though she does not approve of Eddie's betrayal, the love and allegiance she feels for her husband will always come before anything--even the vigilante law that pervades Red Hook, and even before the niece she raised as if she were her own child. 

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Beatrice Character Timeline in A View from the Bridge

The timeline below shows where the character Beatrice appears in A View from the Bridge. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
...she is a “baby” and doesn’t “doesn’t understand these things.” Eddie calls for his wife, Beatrice, and says that her cousins have arrived from Italy. Beatrice enters and is surprised that... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Beatrice is nervous for her cousins’ arrival, but Eddie says that it will be fine, as... (full context)
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
...He says he doesn’t want Catherine to go to the neighborhood where the company is. Beatrice tries to persuade Eddie that Catherine would be safe there, and asks him, “you gonna... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
The three eat dinner, and then conversation returns to the topic of Beatrice’s cousins. Eddie reminds her of the importance of not saying anything to anyone about the... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
Eddie and Beatrice tell Catherine the story of a nearby boy who “snitched to the Immigration” about his... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
...figured on” Catherine growing up. Catherine goes to get Eddie his cigar, and Eddie asks Beatrice why she is mad at him. She says she isn’t, and that he is the... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
A man escorts Beatrice’s cousins, Rodolpho and Marco, to Eddie’s apartment. Marco and Rodolpho enter the apartment and meet... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
...is waiting impatiently for Catherine and Rodolpho to return from seeing a movie. He tells Beatrice that Rodolpho is supposed to stay inside when he isn’t working, to avoid getting caught.... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Eddie asks Beatrice if Catherine has said anything about Rodolpho, and Beatrice says that Rodolpho is “a nice... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
...in contrast to Rodolpho. He says he didn’t bring Catherine up for someone like Rodolpho. Beatrice changes the subject and asks, “When am I gonna be a wife again, Eddie?” She... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
...insists that Rodolpho loves her. She runs into the apartment and Eddie follows her. Inside, Beatrice angrily tells Eddie to leave Catherine alone. Eddie walks outside, and Beatrice talks to Catherine.... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Beatrice tells Catherine, “you gotta be your own self more,” and encourages her to make her... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Beatrice tells Catherine that she needs to act differently and tell Eddie not to order her... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
...what would happen, but was powerless to stop it. Back at Eddie’s apartment, Catherine tells Beatrice about how Rodolpho and Marco once went to Africa on a fishing boat. Marco and... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
...“Paper Doll,” and asks Rodolpho if he wants to dance. Rodolpho and Catherine dance, and Beatrice asks Marco about the fishing boats he worked on. Marco talks about the kitchen on... (full context)
Act 2
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Eddie says he doesn’t want Catherine to move in with Rodolpho and Beatrice gets upset. Eddie says, “this is my house here not their house.” He says he... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Eddie starts to cry, and Catherine enters. Beatrice encourages Catherine to ask Eddie a question. Catherine tells him that she is going to... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
Eddie learns from Beatrice that two other illegal Italian immigrants are staying upstairs in the same apartment as Rodolpho... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
...got nobody here.” The immigration officers go to search the other apartments in the building. Beatrice is terrified and asks Eddie, “My God, what did you do?” The immigration officers come... (full context)
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
Catherine and Beatrice plead with the officers, but they carry the immigrants away. Marco breaks free, runs up... (full context)
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
The play then jumps to the day of Catherine’s wedding. At Eddie’s apartment, Beatrice is getting ready for the wedding and tries to convince Eddie to attend. Eddie tells... (full context)
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Catherine calls Eddie a rat and says he belongs in the sewer. Beatrice tells Catherine to stop saying this, and shows some sympathy for Eddie. Rodolpho comes in,... (full context)
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Beatrice says she is just telling the truth, as Marco arrives. Eddie goes outside to meet... (full context)
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
Eddie calls out for Beatrice, and Beatrice and Catherine hold Eddie up. He dies in Beatrice’s arms. Alfieri comes forward... (full context)