The Bridge of San Luis Rey


Thornton Wilder

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Archbishop of Lima Character Analysis

The highest religious official in Lima. Although he is occupies a position of grave authority, the Archbishop is generally decadent and silly, spending his time hosting large dinner parties and flirting with actresses, like Camila Perichole. He devotes little time or effort to his parishioners. In fact, his greatest frustrations are the frequent pleas of his colleague, the Abbess, that he appropriate more church funds for her charitable works.

Archbishop of Lima Quotes in The Bridge of San Luis Rey

The The Bridge of San Luis Rey quotes below are all either spoken by Archbishop of Lima or refer to Archbishop of Lima. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Acts of God and Individual Will Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper Collins edition of The Bridge of San Luis Rey published in 1927.
Part 4: Uncle Pio Quotes

The Archbishop knew that most of the priests of Peru were scoundrels. It required all his delicate Epicurean education to prevent his doing something about it; he had to repeat over to himself his favorite notions: that the injustice and unhappiness of the world is a constant; that the theory of progress is a delusion; that the poor, never having known happiness, are insensible to misfortune. Like all the rich he could not bring himself to believe that the poor (look at their houses, look at their clothes) could really suffer.

Related Characters: Archbishop of Lima
Related Symbols: Churches and Abbeys
Page Number: 81
Explanation and Analysis:
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Archbishop of Lima Character Timeline in The Bridge of San Luis Rey

The timeline below shows where the character Archbishop of Lima appears in The Bridge of San Luis Rey. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2: The Marquesa de Montemayor
Dogma vs. Altruism Theme Icon
...extract funds from officials who are indifferent to the work she’s doing. For example, the Archbishop of Lima openly hates her and “counted the cessation of her visits among the compensations... (full context)
Part 4: Uncle Pio
Art and Memory Theme Icon
...Lima’s elite import the newest settings of the Mass and the newest poetry. Whenever the Archbishop travels to Spain, he brings home some new piece of culture. The most popular art... (full context)
Dogma vs. Altruism Theme Icon
...would mind sharing their dinners with other guests. He offers to introduce her to the Archbishop, which delights her. The Archbishop is an enormously fat man whose body imprisons “a curious... (full context)
Love and Obsession Theme Icon
...all the jewels she has ever received from her lovers, and forbids the Viceroy, the Archbishop, and her other admirers from visiting. No one is allowed to see her appearance except... (full context)
Part 5: Perhaps an Intention
Grief and Loss Theme Icon
...of the memorial service for victims of the bridge collapse is sunny and warm. The Archbishop sits sweating on his throne, while Don Andrés feels ill and self-conscious in the church,... (full context)