The Name of the Rose

Benno is a student of rhetoric who worked in the scriptorium with Venantius and Adelmo. After Berengar’s death, Malachi makes him assistant librarian. When the book falls into Severinus’s possession, he steals it back and returns it to Malachi without opening it—and thus does not die of poisoning. At the end of the novel, however, he throws himself into the flames in the library and burns to death, echoing the complete spiritual and physical ravaging of the abbey and its occupants.

Benno of Upsala Quotes in The Name of the Rose

The The Name of the Rose quotes below are all either spoken by Benno of Upsala or refer to Benno of Upsala. 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:
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Mariner Books edition of The Name of the Rose published in 2014.
Second Day Quotes

And, Benno added with a smile, how many times had he himself not been stirred by desires of the intellect so violent that to satisfy them he would have consented to complying with others' carnal desires, even against his own inclination.

Related Characters: Benno of Upsala (speaker), Adelmo of Otranto
Related Symbols: The Finis Africae
Page Number: 148
Explanation and Analysis:
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Fifth Day Quotes

The good of a book lies in its being read. A book is made up of signs that speak of other signs, which in their turn speak of things. Without an eye to read them, a book contains signs that produce no concepts; therefore it is dumb. This library was perhaps born to save the books it houses, but now it lives to bury them.

Related Characters: William of Baskerville (speaker), Benno of Upsala
Page Number: 422-423
Explanation and Analysis:
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Benno of Upsala Character Timeline in The Name of the Rose

The timeline below shows where the character Benno of Upsala appears in The Name of the Rose. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
First Day
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
...meet Berengar of Arundel, Malachi’s assistant. They also meet Venantius of Salvemec, a translator, and Benno of Uppsala, a rhetorician. Malachi explains that the library is a labyrinth and only the... (full context)
Second Day
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Meanwhile, William questions Benno, who recounts a strange interaction that occurred in the scriptorium a few days earlier. During... (full context)
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
William tries to examine Venantius’s desk for evidence, but is warded off by Benno, who asks to speak with him. Benno finally tells the whole truth of what he... (full context)
Fifth Day
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...dragged away, he shouts at Malachi, who responds “I will do nothing to harm you.” Benno whispers to William and Adso that he saw Malachi hiding in the infirmary before Remigio... (full context)
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Left alone in the infirmary, William, Adso, and Benno search for the “strange book” that Severinus had mentioned. William thinks they are looking for... (full context)
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...hostility towards him in particular. Ubertino takes his advice and flees that night. After supper, Benno admits that he stole the forbidden book from the infirmary and returned it to the... (full context)
Sixth Day
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
...end.” Nicholas is appointed cellarer to replace Remigio, but the post of librarian remains vacant. Benno is told to ensure that the scriptorium continues to function. Alinardo, Aymaro, and a group... (full context)
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
William asks Benno whether anyone mentioned the Coena in the discussion about riddles. Benno confirms that Venantius did,... (full context)
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
...Italian monks are clustered together, whispering, and Jorge heads toward the chapter house with Nicholas. Benno tells them that the scriptorium is in chaos and no one is working. William suggests... (full context)
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
That night, Jorge is absent from vespers. Benno is also absent (he is closing the scriptorium), along with Nicholas (who is making dinner)... (full context)
Seventh Day
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
...the time they are given directions, it is no longer possible to enter the library. Benno cries out in despair and plunges into the smoke. Adso never sees Benno again, so... (full context)