The Life of Galileo

by

Bertolt Brecht

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Life of Galileo can help.

The Little Monk Character Analysis

The Little Monk begins as one of Galileo Galilei’s many detractors within the Catholic Church, but he ultimately becomes one of Galileo’s students and acolytes. Trained to be a theologian, mathematician, physicist, and astronomer all at once, the Little Monk originally argues with Galileo, defending Aristotle and the centuries of wisdom the Church has taught him. However, the Little Monk has a highly energetic, almost tenacious, desire for the truth. So, when he witnesses the evidence of Copernicus’ model provided by Galileo’s telescope, he finds himself unable to turn away from it. In the end, he becomes one of his teacher’s most vocal supporters, even when both the Pope and Inquisition have arrested Galileo.

The Little Monk Quotes in The Life of Galileo

The The Life of Galileo quotes below are all either spoken by The Little Monk or refer to The Little Monk. 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 6 Quotes

Mr. Galilei, before he left Father Clavius said: Now it's up to the theologians to see how they can straighten out the movements of the heavens

once more. You've won.

Related Characters: The Little Monk (speaker), Galileo Galilei
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:
Scene 8 Quotes

Our poverty has no meaning: hunger is no trial of strength, it’s merely not having eaten: effort is no virtue, it's just bending and carrying. Can you see now why I read into the Holy Congregations decree a noble motherly compassion; a vast goodness of soul?

Related Characters: The Little Monk (speaker), Galileo Galilei
Page Number: 63
Explanation and Analysis:

An apple from the tree of knowledge! He's wolfing it down. He is damned forever, but he has got to wolf it down, the poor glutton.

Related Characters: Galileo Galilei (speaker), The Little Monk
Related Symbols: Apples
Page Number: 65
Explanation and Analysis:
Scene 13 Quotes

Wine-pump! Snail-eater! Did you save your precious skin?

Related Characters: Andrea Sarti (speaker), Galileo Galilei, The Little Monk, Federzoni
Page Number: 94
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Life of Galileo LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Life of Galileo PDF

The Little Monk Character Timeline in The Life of Galileo

The timeline below shows where the character The Little Monk appears in The Life of Galileo. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Scene 6
Progress vs. Tradition Theme Icon
Ideas as Infection Theme Icon
Greatness Theme Icon
The Little Monk approaches Galileo in private and tells him that, before he left, Clavius said that the... (full context)
Scene 8
Progress vs. Tradition Theme Icon
Ideas as Infection Theme Icon
The Little Monk comes to visit Galileo. He tells Galileo that, ever since Clavius declared Galileo’s findings to... (full context)
Progress vs. Tradition Theme Icon
Ideas as Infection Theme Icon
The Little Monk doesn’t doubt Galileo, he says, but he doubts that telling the truth about the universe... (full context)
Scene 9
Ideas as Infection Theme Icon
Greatness Theme Icon
...he has amassed a group of pupils in the form of Federzoni, Andrea, and the Little Monk . The group is meeting when a former student enters. The student wishes to explain... (full context)
Progress vs. Tradition Theme Icon
Greatness Theme Icon
...flat piece of ice will float on water whereas an iron needle will sink. The Little Monk begins to present Aristotle’s argument in Latin, but Galileo demands that he translate it into... (full context)
Scene 13
Persecution Theme Icon
Greatness Theme Icon
In Rome, Virginia, Federzoni, the Little Monk , and Andrea await the outcome of Galileo’s questioning by the Inquisition. All of them... (full context)
Scene 14
Persecution Theme Icon
Ideas as Infection Theme Icon
Greatness Theme Icon
...he says he led into error. Federzoni resumed his career as a lens grinder. The Little Monk returned to the Church. And Andrea is forced to go to Holland, where he can... (full context)