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File:NameOfTheRose 7984.jpg

Cavete Fratres Franciscanos. [1]


 Stat rosa pristina nomine, nomina nuda tenemus.[2]


The Name Of The Rose is a novel written by Umberto Eco in 1980, which also received a movie adaptation in 1986, directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, and starring Christian Slater, F. Murray Abraham, Ron Perlman, Michael Lonsdale, and Sean Connery.

It is set in what has been called the disastrous fourteenth century, during the period of the Medieval Inquisition. The story, described by some as Sherlock Holmes IN THE 14th CENTURY, follows Brother William of Baskerville and his young friar apprentice, Adso of Melk, who go to an abbey where a murder was committed in order to investigate it.

Tropes used in The Name of the Rose include:
  • Adaptation Decay / Pragmatic Adaptation: The book is a detective mystery interwoven with 500 pages of incredible detail of the religious and political schism in the church that is nearly inscrutable to anyone without a post-graduate degree in Theology and 14th Century Political History. (Or, reasonably arguably, anyone but Umberto Eco.) The movie drops most of the Theology, History and Politics in favor of the detective story.
  • A Man Is Not a Virgin: Adso gets to have one fling before recommitting to chastity; William, his mentor and supposed guardian, says something along the lines of, "Way to go, kid."
    • Averted with William, who explicitly admits to Adso that, unlike him, he has never tried "that sort of experience."
  • Asshole Victim: In the movie, Bernardo Gui's cart gets pushed off a cliff by angry peasants, causing him to fall on a spiked thing which kills him. Your heart bleeds for him.
  • Awesomeness By Analysis: William, and how.
  • Be as Unhelpful as Possible: This is the attitude of every monk in the abbey toward William's investigation.
  • Big Labyrinthine Building
  • The Black Death: At the end of the novel, Adso reveals that William eventually died during the Black Death.
  • Bookcase Passage: and tomb passage, too.
  • Burn the Witch: In the film, Brother Salvatore and Brother Remigio are burned at the stake as scapegoats by Father Bernardo Gui, leader of the Inquisition. Gui also tries to burn a local peasant girl, but in the film she is rescued by rebellious peasants who manage to kill Gui in the resulting chaos.
    • Unfortunately, her two fellow "heretics" don't get rescued. Adso was a trifle specific in his prayer.
    • In the book, Gui prevents this from happening by simply having the three of them transported away and executed elsewhere, where no rescue attempts can occur. (Gui was a historical person, and he was not killed by peasants).
  • Camp Gay: One of the victims
  • Captain Ersatz: William of Baskerville is described as William of Ockham combined with Sherlock Holmes in the 14th century.
  • Celibate Hero: William
  • Celebrity Paradox: Averted. Does William of Occam exist in this version? Yes, he's a friend of William of Baskerville.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Several, notably the eccentric Ubertino da Casale (film only), and the deformed Salvatore.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Bernard plans to use it on the cellarer, but even the mention of torture is enough for him to admit everything, even things he didn't commit.
  • Cool Old Guy: William, played by Sean Connery.
  • Corrupt Church
  • Cryptic Conversation: Salvatore (and how), Ubertino da Casale, and half the monks.
  • Definitely Final Dungeon: The library tower.
  • Description Porn: And how: the book devotes page upon page to descriptions of the church's altar, the entrance to the crypt, Adso's vivid psychedelic-herb-induced visions, and the monastery's relics.
  • Detective Story
  • Did Not Get the Girl: In the book, she dies; in the movie, Adso deliberately chooses to follow his master and to continue his life of celibacy as a monk.
  • Disability Immunity: Oh so much averted.
  • Disney Villain Death
  • Doorstopper
  • The Dung Ages: This is how the monastery is portrayed in the movie... And how!!
  • Eat the Evidence
    • …Which in this case also qualifies as suicide.
  • Eureka Moment: William has one considering the secret of the library. Adso remembers how Salvatore said "tertius equi", which is Canis Latinicus for "The third of horse" (when he meant "the third horse"). William concludes: "the first and the seventh of the four" really means "the first and the seventh of the word four", and "four" is "quatuor" in Latin, so you have to push the letters Q and R!
    • They had a minor one earlier, when Adso dreamed a story similar to the "Coena Cypriani", a kind of Bible Parody. Which helps William to remember that there was a book in the library consisting of four texts, one of them a comment for the Coena Cypriani, another one the book they're looking for.
  • Finger-Licking Poison
  • Flanderization: The transmogrification of the saintly Ubertino da Casale (a minor character) from well-educated, decent, pious (if slightly fanatical) old man to a creepy, obtuse Butt Monkey who hits on Adso and is ridiculed by William. Note that the poor guy actually existed.
  • Foe Yay: Lampshaded by Adso in the book as he follows the last dialogue between William and Jorge
  • "Friend or Idol?" Decision: Adso at the end of the film.
    • William has to choose between burning to death to save as many books as he can, or abandoning the library.
  • Gonk: The Abbot, the Greek translator, and Adelmo are pretty much the only three of the Benedictine monks who is not frightfully ugly. The worst is undoubtedly Ron Perlman's Salvatore, who doesn't even look human.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Discounting Sean Connery, Christian Slater and Ron Perlman, one might also recognize the late William Hickey (aka the Petes' grandfather) as Ubertino de Casale.
  • Historical Domain Character: Bernard(o) Gui(donis), Ubertino da Casale, Michael of Cesena.
  • The Hunchback: Salvatore. Played by Ron Perlman with extreme creepiness in the film.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Bernardo Gui in the film. This didn't happen in the book or in Real Life, in which he died a far less cheesy death a couple of years after the time in which the movie takes place.
  • In Which a Trope Is Described: In spades. One chapter heading is even self-referential.
  • The Inquisition
  • Karma Houdini: Bernardo Guy in the book
  • Knight Templar: A whole army of them: the killer, the Dulcinians, the Inquisitors…
  • The Late Middle Ages
  • Looks Like Orlok: The chief librarian monk.
  • The Library of Babel: The plot centers on one, at the heart of the abbey.
  • Literary Agent Hypothesis: One of the go-to examples.
  • Lit Fic
  • MacGuffin: Averted with the Second Book of the Poetics, which is both thematically relevant to the story and, ironically, the murder weapon of most of the killings
  • Mad Oracle: Ubertino is considered to be this in the film.
  • Meaningful Name: William of Baskerville. The name is a two-part Shout-Out to logician and monk William of Ockham and a certain fictional detective.
    • Also, the blind monk Jorge of Burgos is a shoutout to the (blind) Jorge Luis Borges, an important literary influence for Eco
  • Medieval Morons: William himself and the sensible Adso make everyone else look fanatical or dumb, at least in the movie. In the novel, many people show a great deal of scholarly knowledge and expertise, but William is about the only one who can escape beyond the stagnated and fundamentalist nature of medieval learning.
  • Mind Screw: How to access the secret room in the library. "The hand over the idol?/image?/mirror! should move (how exactly?) the first and the seventh of the four(???)".
  • Motive Rant: Jorge gives one at the end.
    • Less obvious in the movie, where the Big Bad is more reactive and less prone to discussion. Kind of a pity, as that particular dialogue between him and William is one of the most intriguing of the book. In the film, most of it is held while the villain is eluding the heroes throughout the library.
  • Myth Arc: With other Eco books
  • No Name Given: The girl Adso has sex with. He mentions that he couldn't even "lament and call out the beloved’s name" (as he read in romances of chivalry) when he learned that she's going to die, because he never learned her name.
  • Nubile Savage: The peasant girl is a medieval variation on the theme.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Ron Perlman's version of the deformed, mentally disabled hunchback Salvatore is smarter than he seems.
  • Occam's Razor: One of William's tricks of the trade, appropriately enough.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Goes with the territory.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: In-genre for the book, but the film pauses the action for a theological debate between the progressive, liberal Franciscans and the Vatican emissaries over the question of whether Jesus owned the clothes that he wore.
  • Playing Against Type: Sean Connery, one of cinema's most iconic male sex symbols, plays a virgin Celibate Hero who apparently considers women to be foul creatures purposefully designed by God to tempt man. (The book shows the character specifically questioning the latter very common belief, so the interpretation may not be fair for the movie either.)
  • Poetic Serial Killer
  • Pyrrhic Victory: In the book the library burns, the book is destroyed and Bernardo gets away with the torture and unjust execution of three people. This proved to be too dark for the movie, in which, at least, Bernardo dies and the girl lives.
    • History buffs and bibliophiles familiar with the period might consider will definitely consider the burning of the library to be an outright Downer Ending.
      • Eco himself pointed out in the Apostilles to The Name of the Rose (essentially a director's track book) that having a library in that period and not having it burn down would have been absolutely unrealistic.
  • Rape Is Love
    • Actually, the girl kind of jumps on Adso, but after the initial shock he seems quite willing — and even enthusiastic. He's a young man who probably struggles even against the desire to masturbate. Few would have more self-control in that situation. William later says that in Adso's place "even a father in the desert would have damned himself".
  • Recycled in Space: The story is basically a medieval Sherlock Holmes mystery in addition to the literary elements.
  • Red Herring: The connection between the various deaths and the seven trumpets of Revelation turns out to be a coincidence after all. When this theory is discussed openly, the killer decides to run with it, which complicates things further.
  • Sadistic Choice: Gui insists William, a former victim, serve as a judge in The Inquisition.
    • In the book, William is a former Inquisitor, who wants nothing more to do with it.
      • In the movie too, William is a former Inquisitor who refused to convict a witch and got marched out and judged by Gui.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: William.
  • Secret Path: The only unguarded way into the library is various secret passages.
  • Serial Killer
  • Shaggy Search Technique: The eye sockets of the skulls, etc.
  • Sherlock Scan: William of Baskerville, such as at the beginning, when he meets people from the monastery and describes to them the horse they're looking for, though he never saw it.
  • Shout-Out: Several.
    • The movie mentions a book by Umberto of Bologna — a clear allusion to Umberto Eco.
    • Further, the name "Baskerville" is an obvious allusion to the Sherlock Holmes novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles.
      • In the movie, William has a line that could be rearranged as "Elementary, my dear Adso" (like the famous Beam Me Up, Scotty relating to Sherlock Holmes).
      • Adso's name sounds very similar to Watson's.
    • And William's first name and political beliefs are modeled on William of Ockham.
    • Jorge, the blind librarian, is a clear reference to Jorge Luis Borges, the Argentinian author who went blind, served as the director of Argentina's National Library, wrote a story about a labyrinthine library, and is generally credited as a stylistic influence on Eco and probably hundreds of other genre-bending postmodernist authors.
      • Someone lucky enough to have read Borges's short story Death and the Compass will see the connection to this story clearly
  • Shown Their Work: Not surprising, as Eco is a scholar of the Middle Ages.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: The girl, of course.
  • Theme Serial Killer: The killings follow symbolism from the Book of Revelations. As it turns out, this is mostly by accident.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The lost dialogue of Aristotle is assumed to be this. it's actually poisoned.
  • The Exotic Detective
  • The Heretic
  • The Ishmael: The narrator is an older Adso.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: William gives one to Jorge at the end.
  • Torture Always Works: Averted. William used to be an inquisitor, but avoided using torture. He explains that poeople under torture say not only what the inquisitor wants, but also what they imagine might please him. Later, when Bernard intorrogates the cellarer, the threat of torture is enogh for him to admit that he committed all the murders (which he didn't do).
  • The Tower: The hidden and locked library looms over the monastery, tall, dark, labyrinthine and foreboding. Eco helpfully draws a diagram of it for readers.
  • The Unintelligible: Salvatore, played by Ron Perlman.
  • The Watson: Adso, naturally.
  • Title Drop: The posfacium quote.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses
  • Villain Teleportation: Jorge's ability to get in and around the library unseen.
  • What A Senseless Waste Of Human Life Precious Ancient Books.
  • Wimp Fight: Subverted: William and Jorge are both senescent intellectuals. They know absolutely nothing about fighting...but will do absolutely anything to win.
  • Witch Hunt: Literally.
  • Your Mom: During their final argument about laughter, Jorge mentions a story about a Minorite, who fell on the ice, and when someone mockingly asked him, if he wanted to lie on something better, he answered: "Yes, your wife".
  1. Lat. "Beware of the Franciscan friars."
  2. Lat.: "Yesterday's rose endures in its name, we hold empty names".