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The Name Of The Rose

The Name of the Rose Umberto Eco has an interesting and fascinating style of writing as he, in great detail, tells of a series of crimes and unbelievable murders in a wealthy Italian abbey in the year1327. A monk, William of Baskerville, and his assistant, Adso, are assigned the challenge of decoding the numerous secret symbols to unravel the mysteries. They will have to explore the unusual labyrinth of a library to solve the crimes. The two monks have a lot of logic, wit, curiosity, and intelligence and find themselves up against a clever enemy, a murderer with all the appearance of the Antichrist. The original reason for Williams being asked to come was to investigate the death of Adelmo, a young monk, who had apparently committed suicide.

The abbot had heard of Williams great knowledge and invited him to come and try to figure out the reason if or how this young monk had been killed. The abbot instructed him to bring a novice with him because the abbey had no one extra to spare. William had previously met a young monk named Adso during his travels and wanted him to come along so that he could later learn from William. The two traveled to the abbey, high on top of a mountain. When they arrived, the abbot showed his appreciation by preparing a large dinner in their honor. They were then informed of the details of the death of Adelmo. His body had been found at the bottom of a cliff on the side of the mountain. It was assumed that he had committed suicide, but they had no way of proving this hypothesis. If he had jumped, the only possible window would be from the library.

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This would be nearly impossible because entry to the library was forbidden to everyone except the librarian, and the assistant librarian; not even the abbot was allowed in this place. This explains why William was asked to come and investigate the death. If he didnt jump, who killed him and why? Another variable added to this whole problem was that someone had brought up the fact that the signs of the Antichrist were possibly being acted out. The Book of the Apostle said at the first sound of the trumpet came the hail, and Adelmos body was found in the snow after a hailstorm; which was later found out from the abbot. Later that day, William and Adso had a brief encounter with Severinus, the herbalist. They asked him many questions about the abbey and what kinds of herbs he grew.

They were trying to find out what, if any, herbs Adelmo may have gotten his hands on in order to kill himself. The only herbs that Severinus knew about that had that kind of power and that he had in his infirmary were still in their respective cases that had never been opened. After discussing this briefly, they asked Severinus to give them a tour of the Aedificium. Severinus took them up onto the second floor of the Aedificium, the Scriptorium. There they meet many copyists, scholars, rubricators, and the head librarian.

They were also introduced to an old, blind monk named Jorge. They talked to Malachi, the librarian, about the books in the library. They had a very detailed talk with all of the people in the Scriptorium on the topic of laughter, which brings out the worst in some present, Jorge especially. He mentions that the Antichrist is on his way to the world because certain signs had been lurking around the abbey. He says, He is coming! …..Do not squander the last seven days! At supper they were invited to the abbots table to eat with Jorge; Alinardo, another older monk believed to have gone mad; the abbot; Malachi, the librarian; and Berengar, the assistant librarian. After dinner they went back into the church for Compline, the service before bed.

They noted that Malachi had come in from a different door than all the rest of the monks. They then concluded that there must be an alternate entrance( an ossarium ) somewhere that he passed through the Aedificium to get out of the library. The next day they discovered something very gruesome. They were in the opening services when they noticed that Venantius was missing. During the service, a few swineherds came rushing in, which was very unusual, and went straight to the abbot. He rushed outside as the swineherds told all the other monks what had happened. They had seen legs sticking out of a barrel of pig blood and assumed it was a monk because of the sandals on the feet.

When the monks heard this, they all rushed out to the courtyard to see for themselves. When they got there, the abbot was having two of the servants pull the corpse out of the barrel. The blood had distorted the face but not like it would have if the person had drowned in the pigs blood. This was just as the Book of the Apostle said that at the second trumpet, a third of the waters would turn to blood. The abbot instructed that the corpse of Venantius should be taken to the infirmary to be made ready for burial.

William and Adso were instructed to go along to look at the body to see what may have killed him, if it had not been his being drowned in the blood. They then found that a few of the fingers on the right hand were blackened at the tip and that his tongue was also black. Severinus, the herbalist, told them that there had been no bruises and no bump on the head. They then again asked what kind of poisons Severinus kept in the infirmary. Severinus hesitated and quickly changed the subject.

Later on in the day, the abbot took the two aside and asked them what they had found out about the two deaths. William told him their information about the death of Adelmo and the death of Venantius. They had still found no connection between the two deaths. The abbot told them about his concern for the life of the abbey, and the accusation of heresy among some of the monks in higher positions. He also tells them that they will be having visitors later on in the week Who would be debating on the abbey grounds and William was invited to join them.

When they left the abbot, they ran into old Alinardo. He told them some very important facts about the abbey and the library. They were instructed never to enter the library, but Alinardo let them in on a secret without knowing it. He told them of an alternate entrance into the library after the doors to the Aedificium are locked. If you enter the church, which is never locked, and go through the ossarium ( as William had thought ), there was a door to the steps leading to the Scriptorium, which also led to the library.

He also told them that the library was a labyrinth. During the hour of Compline, the two entered the Scriptorium. They went there to look through Venantius desk for any clues of why he would have been killed. They found what seemed to be an important document, but Williams eye glasses had been stolen and he was not much help. The document they found was written in an invisible ink and could only be seen with the addition of heat.

When they could read the words, they found that the document was in a coded script. William took the paper with him so that he could look it over when he had more light. At the beginning of the next day, Berengar is missing. The two monks looked all day long to find the missing assistant librarian and later find him in the shower room, drowned in a bathtub. This is just as the Book of the Apostle said: at the third trumpet the waters would be disturbed. When the herbalist looked over the body, he noticed that the tongue and fingertips were blackened, the same as Venantius.

Severinus then recalled an unknown poison that he had received as a gift from a man who had traveled to many foreign lands and could not tell him what the poison was made of. He only knew that it was a slimy yellowish color and could eventually kill if consumed. It had been missing for quite some time by now, but Severinus figured that it had been broken in a horrible storm that had ruined a lot of his herb and medicine cases. The next day, the visitors arrived at the abbey and had a long deep discussion on the matter of whether or not Jesus had any worldly possessions. During this meeting, Severinus came in and told William about a book that had somehow gotten into the infirmary.

William told Severinus to go back to the infirmary and lock himself inside until he could get there to see the book. Later on someone comes to the church where the debate is taking place and tells everyone in the room that Severinus had been murdered. William rushed out and went directly to the infirmary to see for himself. It was, in fact, true that Severinus had been murdered. He had been killed from being hit in the head by his own armillary sphere, which was made out of metals in the shape of suns, moons, and stars. William, Adso, and Benno; the new assistant librarian, carefully examined the room but could not find the book. They actually did pass by it; but, not knowing what they were looking for, they did no …


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