The Life of Galileo

Cardinal Barberini (later Pope Urban VIII) Character Analysis

Cardinal Barberini, who later became Pope Urban VIII, has few speaking lines in Life of Galileo, but he nevertheless has a huge impact on the life of Galileo Galilei and his followers. A mathematician as well as a priest, Barberini first meets Galileo when the Church has decided that Galileo’s research may continue but not his publishing. During that encounter, Barberini shows himself to be a remarkably intelligent man with a subtle understanding of the Church’s responsibilities. He is a shrewd calculator of what must be done for the Church, but he is also a human being and lover of science. When, as Pope, Barberini is pressed by the Inquisition to allow the torture of Galileo, he demurs and likely saves Galileo’s life.

Cardinal Barberini (later Pope Urban VIII) Quotes in The Life of Galileo

The The Life of Galileo quotes below are all either spoken by Cardinal Barberini (later Pope Urban VIII) or refer to Cardinal Barberini (later Pope Urban VIII). 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:
Progress vs. Tradition Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of The Life of Galileo published in 2008.
Scene 7 Quotes

Welcome to Rome, Galileo my friend. You know its origins? Two little boys, so runs the legend, were given milk and shelter by a she-wolf. Since that time all her children have had to pay for their milk.

Related Characters: Cardinal Barberini (later Pope Urban VIII) (speaker), Galileo Galilei
Page Number: 55
Explanation and Analysis:

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He's a terrible man. He cheerfully sets out to convict God of the most elementary errors in astronomy. I suppose God hadn't got far enough in his studies before he wrote the bible; is that it?

Related Characters: Cardinal Barberini (later Pope Urban VIII) (speaker), Galileo Galilei
Page Number: 56
Explanation and Analysis:

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Scene 12 Quotes

No! No! No! I am not going to have the multiplication table broken. No!

Related Characters: Cardinal Barberini (later Pope Urban VIII) (speaker)
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Cardinal Barberini (later Pope Urban VIII) Character Timeline in The Life of Galileo

The timeline below shows where the character Cardinal Barberini (later Pope Urban VIII) appears in The Life of Galileo. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Scene 7
Progress vs. Tradition Theme Icon
Persecution Theme Icon
Greatness Theme Icon
...and how being Galileo’s daughter got Virginia special treatment from her hair stylist. Galileo meets Barberini and another priest and they discuss his ideas. Barberini finds Galileo clever, and tells him... (full context)
Progress vs. Tradition Theme Icon
Persecution Theme Icon
Greatness Theme Icon
Barberini and Galileo banter back and forth, amicably trading quotes from the Bible. Barberini ends this... (full context)
Progress vs. Tradition Theme Icon
Persecution Theme Icon
Greatness Theme Icon
The priest beside Barberini interjects, saying that it is the job of the Holy Church to interpret the Bible,... (full context)
Progress vs. Tradition Theme Icon
Persecution Theme Icon
Ideas as Infection Theme Icon
Greatness Theme Icon
As Galileo is escorted from the stage by Barberini and his colleague, two scribes are observed taking notes on the conversation of the three... (full context)
Scene 9
Progress vs. Tradition Theme Icon
Persecution Theme Icon
Ideas as Infection Theme Icon
Greatness Theme Icon
...with news that the current Pope is dying. His suspected replacement is none other than Barberini. Convinced that Barberini will usher in a new age of reason for the Church, Galileo... (full context)
Scene 12
Progress vs. Tradition Theme Icon
Persecution Theme Icon
Ideas as Infection Theme Icon
Greatness Theme Icon
Barberini (now Pope Urban VIII) is arguing with an Inquisitor. The problem with Galileo, the Inquisitor... (full context)
Progress vs. Tradition Theme Icon
Persecution Theme Icon
Ideas as Infection Theme Icon
Greatness Theme Icon
Barberini defends Galileo, while conceding that he ought not to have written in Italian. He reminds... (full context)