A View from the Bridge

Eddie Carbone Character Analysis

The tragic protagonist of the play, Eddie is a hard-working man who supports his wife Beatrice and his niece Catherine, whom he has raised like a daughter. He begins the play as a well-liked member of his neighborhood community, and has a strong sense of honor. His fatherly feelings for Catherine are gradually revealed to be an extreme, oppressive form of love: he doesn’t want her to grow up and has misgivings about her leaving the house. As the play develops, his affection for Catherine begins to seem more and more like an incestuous desire, as Beatrice hints several times, and then blurts out toward the end of the play, telling Eddie that he can’t have Catherine. When Beatrice’s illegal immigrant cousins move into his apartment, Eddie feels threatened and fears being pushed out of his position in his own home. In addition to his taboo desire for Catherine, Eddie may have other repressed desires. He is fixated on Rodolpho’s sexuality, constantly telling Beatrice and Alfieri that Rodolpho “ain’t right,” and in a (misguided) attempt to prove this, he forcefully kisses Rodolpho in front of Catherine. The real motivations behind this action are unclear, but given that Beatrice complains of Eddie not sleeping with her, there is a real possibility that Eddie is harboring other desires than for Catherine. By the end of the play, Eddie loses the respect of his own family and his neighborhood after reporting Marco and Rodolpho to Immigration Bureau, but is granted a modicum of dignity in his tragic death when Alfieri ends the play by assuring the audience that he still loves and mourns Eddie.

Eddie Carbone Quotes in A View from the Bridge

The A View from the Bridge quotes below are all either spoken by Eddie Carbone or refer to Eddie Carbone. 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

Listen, you been givin’ me the willies the way you walk down the street, I mean it.

Related Characters: Eddie Carbone (speaker), Catherine
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:

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Katie, I promised your mother on her death-bed. I’m responsible for you. You’re a baby, you don’t understand these things.

Related Characters: Eddie Carbone (speaker), Catherine
Page Number: 7
Explanation and Analysis:

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Listen, they’ll think it’s a millionaire’s house compared to the way they live. Don’t worry about the walls. They’ll be thankful.

Related Characters: Eddie Carbone (speaker), Marco, Rodolpho
Page Number: 9
Explanation and Analysis:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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Alfieri:
Is there a question of law somewhere?

Eddie:
That’s what I want to ask you.

Alfieri:
Because there’s nothing illegal about a girl falling in love with an immigrant.

Related Characters: Eddie Carbone (speaker), Alfieri (speaker), Catherine, Rodolpho
Page Number: 42
Explanation and Analysis:

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We all love somebody, the wife, the kids—every man’s got somebody that he loves, heh? But sometimes . . . there’s too much. You know? There’s too much, and it goes where it mustn’t. A man works hard, he brings up a child, sometimes it’s a niece, sometimes even a daughter, and he never realizes it, but through the years—there is too much love for the daughter, there is too much love for the niece. Do you understand what I’m saying to you?

Related Characters: Alfieri (speaker), Eddie Carbone, Catherine
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 2 Quotes

Don’t, don’t laugh at me! I’ve been here all my life. . . . Every day I saw him when he left in the morning and when he came home at night. You think it’s so easy to turn around and say to a man he’s nothin’ to you no more?

Related Characters: Catherine (speaker), Eddie Carbone, Rodolpho
Page Number: 61
Explanation and Analysis:

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This is my last word, Eddie, take it or not, that’s your business. Morally and legally you have no rights, you cannot stop it; she is a free agent.

Related Characters: Alfieri (speaker), Eddie Carbone, Catherine
Page Number: 65
Explanation and Analysis:

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The law is only a word for what has a right to happen. When the law is wrong it’s because it’s unnatural, but in this case it is natural and a river will drown you if you buck it now. Let her go. And bless her.

Related Characters: Alfieri (speaker), Eddie Carbone, Catherine
Page Number: 65
Explanation and Analysis:

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That one! I accuse that one!

Related Characters: Marco (speaker), Eddie Carbone
Page Number: 77
Explanation and Analysis:

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Alfieri:
To promise not to kill is not dishonorable.

Marco:
No?

Alfieri:
No.

Marco:
Then what is done with such a man.

Alfieri:
Nothing. If he obeys the law, he lives. That’s all.

Marco:
The law? All the law is not in a book.

Alfieri:
Yes. In a book. There is no other law.

Marco:
He degraded my brother. My blood. He robbed my children, he mocks my work. I work to come here, mister!

Alfieri:
I know, Marco—

Marco:
There is no law for that? Where is the law for that?

Alfieri:
There is none.

Related Characters: Alfieri (speaker), Marco (speaker), Eddie Carbone, Rodolpho
Page Number: 79
Explanation and Analysis:

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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:

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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:

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I want my name! He didn’t take my name; he’s a punk. Marco’s got my name—and you can run tell him, kid, that he’s gonna give it back to me in front of this neighborhood, or we have it out.

Related Characters: Eddie Carbone (speaker), Marco, Rodolpho
Page Number: 83
Explanation and Analysis:

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Maybe he come to apologize to me. Heh, Marco? For what you said about me in front of the neighborhood? . . . Wipin’ the neighborhood with my name like a dirty rag! I want my name, Marco.

Related Characters: Eddie Carbone (speaker), Marco
Page Number: 84
Explanation and Analysis:

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I confess that something perversely pure calls to me from his memory—not purely good, but himself purely, for he allowed himself to be wholly known and for that I think I will love him more than all my sensible clients. And yet, it is better to settle for half, it must be! And so I mourn him—I admit it—with a certain . . . alarm.

Related Characters: Alfieri (speaker), Eddie Carbone
Page Number: 86
Explanation and Analysis:

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Eddie Carbone Character Timeline in A View from the Bridge

The timeline below shows where the character Eddie Carbone 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
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
...neighborhood of Red Hook in the 1950s, near the small apartment of a man named Eddie. A middle-aged lawyer named Alfieri comes on stage and addresses the audience directly. He says... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
...case that some ancient lawyer in Italy “in some Caesar’s year” would have dealt with. Eddie enters, and Alfieri introduces him to the audience as Eddie Carbone, a longshoreman who works... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Eddie notices that Catherine is well dressed and has made her hair look nice. He asks... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Catherine begins to get upset, and Eddie reminds her that he promised her mother as she was dying that he would watch... (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 long as the cousins “know where they’re gonna... (full context)
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
As the three prepare to eat dinner, Catherine shares her news with Eddie. She has gotten a job as a typist at a plumbing company, having been picked... (full context)
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Eddie tells Catherine her hair makes her look like “the madonna type.” He relents and tells... (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”... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Catherine says she is supposed to start work the next Monday, and Eddie wishes her luck, with tears in his eyes. He jokes that he “never figured on”... (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 Beatrice and Eddie. Marco thanks them... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Eddie tells Marco and Rodolpho about the work they will have, on the docks. They talk... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
...paper doll that I can call my own, a doll that other fellows cannot steal.” Eddie tells Rodolpho to stop singing, as it will alert neighbors that someone new is staying... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
.... . there was a trouble that would not go away.” The play resumes following Eddie and his family a few weeks in the future. Eddie is waiting impatiently for Catherine... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Eddie asks Beatrice if Catherine has said anything about Rodolpho, and Beatrice says that Rodolpho is... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Eddie says that Marco “goes around like a man,” in contrast to Rodolpho. He says he... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Eddie goes outside and talks with two neighbors, Mike and Louis, about Marco and Rodolpho. They... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Eddie asks where Catherine and Rodolpho have been, wanting to make sure they haven’t gone to... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Eddie asks Catherine if she likes Rodolpho. She says she does, and he warns her that... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Catherine is upset, and 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... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
...your own self more,” and encourages her to make her own decisions and not let Eddie order her around. Beatrice tells Catherine to stop acting like a little girl around Eddie,... (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 around, because if Beatrice tells him this, he will only think... (full context)
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
Alfieri comes on stage and tells the audience that around this time, Eddie first came to him. He says that when Eddie came to his office, he looked... (full context)
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
Eddie says that Rodolpho is only interested in Catherine in order to become an American citizen,... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Eddie then tells Alfieri that Rodolpho “ain’t right.” Alfieri tries to get Eddie to be more... (full context)
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
Eddie says that people on the docks call Rodolpho “Paper Doll” and “Blondie,” and laugh at... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Alfieri tells Eddie that sometimes there’s simply too much love in a man’s life and “it goes where... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Eddie gets up to go, and talks about how hard he has worked, going anywhere he... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
Eddie leaves, and Alfieri tells the audience that he knew then what would happen, but was... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
...money he has been able to save and send back to his wife in Italy. Eddie jokes that there must be “plenty surprises sometimes” when people return home to Italy and... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Rodolpho assures Eddie that he has respect for Catherine and asks if he has done anything wrong. Eddie... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Eddie says that the docks aren’t the place for Rodolpho to be working, and says he... (full context)
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Rodolpho grazes Eddie’s jaw, and Eddie tells him to try to block his punch now. Eddie lands a... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
Marco places a chair in front of Eddie and asks if he can lift it with one hand, from one of the chair’s... (full context)
Act 2
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Alfieri says that it is now the 23rd of December. Marco and Eddie are working, and Catherine and Rodolpho are alone at the apartment. Catherine asks Rodolpho what... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Catherine tells Rodolpho she doesn’t want to stay here because she is afraid of Eddie. Rodolpho says they will move out once he is a citizen. Catherine asks if he... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
...the only thing they have that Italy doesn’t is work. Rodolpho asks why Catherine fears Eddie, and Catherine says that he was always kind to her, and she doesn’t want to... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Maturity and Independence Theme Icon
Catherine tells Rodolpho that she’s lived with Eddie her whole life, and asks, “You think its so easy to turn around and say... (full context)
Immigration, Home, and Belonging Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Respect, Honor, Reputation Theme Icon
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...“I don’t know anything, teach me, Rodolpho, hold me.” Rodolpho takes her into a bedroom. Eddie enters the apartment, drunk. He calls for Beatrice, and Catherine enters the room from a... (full context)
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Catherine tells Eddie that she has to leave, and Eddie says that she will stay, and that Rodolpho... (full context)
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Rodolpho is shocked and tells Eddie to stop. He says that Catherine will be his wife, and then lunges at Eddie.... (full context)
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Alfieri comes on stage and says that he next saw Eddie on the 27th. Eddie came into his office and Alfieri says his eyes “were like... (full context)
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Eddie says that Rodolpho “didn’t give me the right kind of fight,” and tells Alfieri that... (full context)
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Alfieri tells Eddie that someone was going to marry Catherine eventually, and says he should let her go.... (full context)
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Eddie says he doesn’t want Catherine to move in with Rodolpho and Beatrice gets upset. Eddie... (full context)
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Eddie says that a wife should believe her husband, and insists that Rodolpho “ain’t right.” He... (full context)
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Eddie starts to cry, and Catherine enters. Beatrice encourages Catherine to ask Eddie a question. Catherine... (full context)
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Eddie learns from Beatrice that two other illegal Italian immigrants are staying upstairs in the same... (full context)
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The immigration officers come in and look around. Eddie tells them, “we got nobody here.” The immigration officers go to search the other apartments... (full context)
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...with the officers, but they carry the immigrants away. Marco breaks free, runs up to Eddie, and spits in his face. Eddie lunges at Marco, but the officers break them up.... (full context)
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As the officers take the four immigrants away, Marco points at Eddie and says, “That one! I accuse that one!” Eddie tells Lipari that Marco is crazy,... (full context)
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...out until his immigration hearing, but only if Marco promises not to seek revenge on Eddie. Marco says that in Italy Eddie would be dead by now for what he did.... (full context)
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Marco says he cannot promise not to kill Eddie, as this would be dishonorable. Alfieri says that as long as Eddie obeys the law,... (full context)
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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.... (full context)
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Catherine calls Eddie a rat and says he belongs in the sewer. Beatrice tells Catherine to stop saying... (full context)
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Rodolpho tries to tell Eddie that they can still be “comrades,” and Eddie says he wants Marco to apologize to... (full context)
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Beatrice says she is just telling the truth, as Marco arrives. Eddie goes outside to meet him. Rodolpho begs Marco not to kill Eddie, and Beatrice tells... (full context)
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Eddie approaches Marco and calls him a liar. Marco hits Eddie and calls him an animal.... (full context)
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Eddie calls out for Beatrice, and Beatrice and Catherine hold Eddie up. He dies in Beatrice’s... (full context)