Young Goodman Brown and Other Hawthorne Short Stories

rappaccinni"s daughter by nathaniel hawthorne

what happens to beatric at the end of Rappaccini's daughter?

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At the end of the story, Giovanni confronts Beatrice about the plant. She reveals that her father created it, and that she knew of its dangerous powers – and of its effect on her. Giovanni curses her for severing him from the world and knowingly entrancing him into the same horrible state. Beatrice is shocked, and gravely upset by this. She swears ignorance, and although Giovanni comes to believe her, his words had already hurt her deeply. Giovanni doesn’t realize the weight of his words and believes he can still save her; he gives her the antidote, which she willingly drinks. At that same instant, her father appears. He tells her that it was nor a curse, but rather a gift, to be made as “terrible” as she was beautiful. But, Beatrice retorts that she would rather have been loved than feared. As she sinks to the ground, she reminds Giovanni of his hateful words, and asks him, “was there not, from the first, more poison in thy nature than in mine?” The poison in her body had become part of her life; the antidote succeeded not in saving her but in killing her. Baglioni, looking forth from the window, is both triumphant for finally defeating Rappaccini at his own game – but also horrified at the result.