A View from the Bridge


Major characters




Beatrice is Eddie’s wife and Catherine’s aunt by blood: Catherine is her sister’s daughter. There is considerable tension between her and Eddie, especially in the scenes between just her and Eddie where it becomes clear that, because of Eddie’s desire for Catherine, their marriage is breaking down. Hence they have not slept together for three months and, while Eddie seems to remain mostly unconscious of his desire for Catherine, Beatrice is all too aware of it. Indeed, like Alfieri, it seems that she is in a position to reveal important truths to the audience – the breakdown in her relationship with Eddie, Catherine’s inappropriate behaviour at home, the fact that in some ways everyone is to blame for this situation ‘We all done it, and don’t you ever forget it – but her perspective is no doubt influenced by the jealousy / despair she may feel at the breakdown in her marriage. We know that she is capable of acting selfishly because she admits that one of the reasons she wanted Catherine to take the job at the plumbers is because she wanted Catherine out of the house.


Beatrice clearly seems to be less developed as a female character that Catherine and goes through no drastic changes as the play progresses. Perhaps her function as the voice of reason (as opposed to Eddie and Catherine’s links to emotion and innocence) prevent her really developing into a 3-D character.



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Beatrice responds ‘half in fear, half in un-utterable joy’ when she hears that her cousins have arrived.




She complains that ‘I was gonna clean the wall … wax the floors.’ before they arrived




Eddie says ‘I just don’t want you being pushed around … you got too big a heart.’




Beatrice is on Catherine’s side about the job, describing it as ‘good news.’




When Eddie tells Catherine not to trust anyone, Beatrice replies ‘She likes people, what’s wrong with that? Be the way you are Katie, don’t listen to him.’




Beatrice ‘has been avoiding his [Eddie’s] gaze.’ and so Eddie asks ‘What are you mad at me lately?’ Beatrice responds ‘I’m not mad. You’re the one who’s mad.’




She ‘gives Eddie a cold look’ when he stops Catherine flirting with Rodolpho and sends her to change her shoes.




She defends Rodolpho ‘He’s just a kid.’ ‘Listen, you never seen a blonde guy in your life?’




Beatrice physically ‘tries to turn him [Eddie] to her’ but fails. She asks ‘When am I gonna be a wife again … it’s three months.’




When Eddie is worried that Rodolpho is ‘taking [Catherine] for a ride ‘she says ‘All right, that’s her ride.’ What are you going to stand over her till she’s forty?’




Speaking to Catherine she says ‘You go to be your own self more.’ ‘You think you’re a baby.’ and she comments on how ‘You still walk around in front of him in your slip.’




She says ‘[with a quiet sad laugh.]’ You should have thought of it [her jealousy over Eddie] before’




Still to Catherine she demands ‘Now the time comes when you say goodbye … you gotta’ in which words Catherine senses ‘an imperious demand.’




When Catherine is rebelling against Eddie’s authority, Beatrice encourages them ‘Go ahead, dance Rodolpho




When Eddie comes home angered at everyone Beatrice is ‘wearied with it and concealing a fear of him.]




‘I decided to move them [Catherine and Rodolpho] upstairs.’




After Eddie has betrayed the submarines ‘[– her final thrust is towards him instead of running from him] My God, what did you do?’




As the immigration officers take the submarines away ‘[Only Beatrice is left on the stoop.]’




‘Whatever happened, we all done it, and don’t you ever forget it, Catherine.’




‘What’s gonna mean somethin’? Who could give you your name?’ ‘Listen to me, I love you, I’m talkin’ to you, I love you; if Marco’ll kiss your hand outside, if he goes on his knees what is he got to give you? That’s not what you want.’




Immediately before Marco turns up for the final fight Beatrice makes a last ditch attempt to save Eddie ‘You want something else, Eddie, and you can never have her.’ ‘The truth is not as bad as blood Eddie. I’m telling you the truth.