man and woman looking at one another and the woman is filled with plants and vines that are creeping into the man's body

Rappaccini's Daughter

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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In "Rappaccini's Daughter," what quote confirms Giovanni gave Beatrice a lethal antidote?

Quick answer:

In “Rappaccini's Daughter,” a direct quote that confirms that Giovanni gave an antidote to Beatrice and killed her is when she puts the vial “to her lips” and she dies moments later. Professor Baglioni gives Giovanni a “small … silver phial” which he claims contains the antidote to Beatrice’s poisonous nature. Giovanni asks Beatrice if they can “quaff it together” and rid themselves both of the poison. She tells him she will drink it first and that he should “await the result.”

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Professor Baglioni comes to visit Giovanni at the young man’s apartment, and he gives Giovanni a “small, exquisitely wrought silver phial” containing a supposed “antidote” to Beatrice’s poisonous condition. Baglioni tells Giovanni to give it to Beatrice and “hopefully await the result”: a result Baglioni intimates will rid her person of those poisons with which her father has imbued her nature.

When Giovanni realizes that the poison has affected his own body so that he, too, can wither flowers and kill insects with a breath, he confronts Beatrice. He rages at her. Beatrice does not understand that Giovanni is now as poisonous as she is, and she blames her father’s “fatal science” for the change in him. His rage spent, Giovanni shows her the potent “medicine” given to him by Baglioni. He says, “It is distilled of blessed herbs,” asking her, “Shall we not quaff it together, and thus be purified from evil?” Beatrice demands that he give it to her, reaching out to grab the silver vial, and she tells him, “I will drink—but do thou await the result.” She loves Giovanni, it seems, and would see no harm come to him. She will drink the antidote first to make sure that it is safe to drink.

The narrator says that “she put Baglioni’s antidote to her lips.” Just then, her father comes forth with an expression of triumph, believing that he has secured for his daughter a man who is now as poisonous as she and they can be together. Next, “Beatrice shuddered very nervously, and pressed her hand upon her heart.” She dies shortly after. There is no line that explicitly states that she drinks the liquid, but it is certainly implied by her desire for Giovanni to wait to drink it and the fact that she literally dies moments after she is said to have “put [the] antidote to her lips.” The narrator reports, in the final paragraph, “To Beatrice—so radically had her earthly part been wrought upon by Rappaccini's skill—as poison had been life, so the powerful antidote was death.”

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