• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What would you say is the role of the reader in Umberto Ecos The Name of the Rose?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What would you say is the role of the reader in Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose? There are many aspects of the book that might interest different kinds of people. One might read the story as a cheap mystery novel, as a medieval history textbook, or as a book about theological philosophy. The book is obviously not easy to read if the reader decides to look in all directions offered by the author, besides the historical background integral to the tale, there are considerable passages in un-translated Latin. However, the persistent reader can learn a lot from this exciting/shocking story, which perfectly blends learning/erudition with entertainment. The narrative engages one throughout, which is a compliment for a book full of long descriptions of theological debates, ecclesiastical councils and politics of the religious leaders of the time. Sometimes though the characters seem unrealistic. They are a mere plot device; they do not seem real. It is obvious that Eco talks to the reader with the voice of William, while the reader assumes the position of Adso, who asks questions making long monologues of William clear. These two characters also have a tendency to indulge into philosophical discussions at the wrong moments. ...read more.

Middle

The historical background helps clarify the plot, but it also reveals how history repeats itself. Each period has its orthodoxy and its heresies, which may well change places in the succeeding age. Indeed, at any moment it may not be clear which is which. When Nicholas of Morimondo says he would be willing to destroy those who are the ''enemies of the people of God'' William asks, ''But who today is the enemy of the people of God? Louis the Emperor or John the Pope? Michael Cunningham discusses Reflections on The Name of the Rose in his Essential Collection: "Books always speak of other books, and every story tells a story that has already been told", he explains. Michael is saying Eco's story would be a narrative on fourth level of encasement, inside three other narratives. "I am saying what Vallet said that Mabillon said that Adso said....". This again reveals Eco's multi-layered method of construction, his skills as a storyteller. He wants to make his readers work, to draw them in and make them work hard, think for themselves, but all the time entertaining and thought provoking. ...read more.

Conclusion

Capozzi is embounded in Praise of Eco's works and he is right in celebrating Eco's skills as a superior storyteller. He gives ample and generous descriptions of Eco's rich and diverse use of complicated devices, which are indeed in the hand of a master. He also alludes to labyrinths and architecture and the belief and journey towards discovery. It is the lessons learned and the enrichment of that journey which is more important than the journey's end or any conclusion. The Name of the Rose allows the reader to be drawn into the book in a mysterious labyrinth of spiritual intrigue and politic. The murders and the protagonist alongside Adso and William of Baskerville make a complex, exciting mystery/detective tale interwoven with medieval intrigue and sensibilities. The reader is allowed to make deductions as to the truth about the murders and the reasons for them eventually revealed. The readers are expected to investigate themselves in an attempt to reveal the truth. However, despite the mystery remaining partially cloaked the reader is never cheated. Whilst many mysteries are answered the ultimate one involving a deep secret of faith and philosophy should remain an ancient secret. The reader is therefore given many roles and is free to enjoy them depending on their own literary history, traditions and cultures and background. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Authors section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Authors essays

  1. Handmaid Tale by Margret Atwood

    van with a eye on it, stops and violently takes a man off the streets and into the van.

  2. Explain how Hosseini sets out to make the reader side with Hassan and not ...

    are not capable of yet, in times like this, it is times like this when Hosseini may project his own traits or that of another adult, onto Amir - another example of this is Amir's ambition of becoming an author - much like Hosseini is an author.

  1. What do chapters 17 and 18 reveal about Forsters art as a novelist?

    The description tells us that he looked fanatical; this tells us that he is uncaring and has an inhumane streak of obsession within him he is obnoxious of how the pursuit of his fanaticism may result on other people. As the chapters continue we learn that all the British are

  2. Compare the character and writing of Rose Tremain`s character Merivel (Restoration) to Samuel Pepys.

    room, would not sully it with drabness...I would order a dazzling collection of scarlet sashes, bilberry shawls, ruby slippers and pink bonnets with which to adorn my invitees. ` Whilst Pepys accepted the need for fine clothing he was not as fond of it as Merivel, seeing it as more

  1. Hanna and Micheal's attitudes to their relationship in part one of the reader

    'She turned around and stared at me coldly. 'You didn't want to know me.' This is a wild accusation, and an obvious display of her anger for being dismissed by him. From this point, Hanna emotionally distances herself from Michael; illuminating her fear of getting hurt and being let down by the boy she may love.

  2. Compare Junot Diaz's use of narrative techniques to present the alienation of the characters ...

    The short stories in "Drown" also raise the dilemma of cultural identity in immigrants, but rather than the characters being rejected outright by society, it is the subtle nagging feeling of being different that alienates the characters of Drown. The progression of this feeling of otherness can be tracked through the stories of "Drown".

  1. "The double-faced Hazard/Chance family is served up the reader as a model for Britain ...

    The Hazards do in fact need to work and only come into money after Melchior marries Lady A - before, they were as common as the Chances. This could show that class is a physical, as Melchior moves from the jobbing actor to husband of nobility - we are all

  2. In her essay "Flight," Doris Lessing illustrates the story of an old man who ...

    In both stories, the treatment of the symbolic objects shows how both the grandfather and the mother wish to protect their loved ones from the evils of the outside world. They are also showing that they need to be controlled for their own safety, that in their opinions they are still too young to take this journey on their own.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work