The Name of the Rose

Jorge is one of the oldest monks at the abbey. Despite his blindness, he has a prodigious memory and knowledge of the library, and the other monks clearly hold him in high regard. He debates with William several times on the subject of laughter, which Jorge finds deeply threatening, believing that to laugh is to mock God’s truth and fail to combat the enemies of the Christian faith. As William and Adso’s days at the abbey draw to a close, he preaches an apocalyptic sermon predicting the Last Judgment. On the seventh and final day, William and Adso break into the labyrinth and find Jorge in the finis Africae. Jorge admits that he has been the real power in the library for the past decades, and that he masterminded the murders in order to keep the secret that the library holds the sole surviving copy of the lost second book of Aristotle’s Poetics, on comedy. Jorge believes this book is dangerous and would subvert the order of religion and society. Rather than allow William and Adso to take the book, he eats the poisoned pages. As William and Adso struggle with him, they knock over a lamp, setting the library on fire.

Jorge of Burgos Quotes in The Name of the Rose

The The Name of the Rose quotes below are all either spoken by Jorge of Burgos or refer to Jorge of Burgos. 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

“The spirit is serene only when it contemplates the truth and takes delight in good achieved, and truth and good are not to be laughed at. That is why Christ did not laugh. Laughter foments doubt.”

“But sometimes it is right to doubt.”

“I cannot see any reason. When you are in doubt, you must turn to an authority, to the words of a father or of a doctor; then all reason for doubt ceases.”

Related Characters: Jorge of Burgos (speaker), William of Baskerville
Page Number: 142
Explanation and Analysis:
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Sixth Day Quotes

The language of gems is multiform: each expresses several truths, according to the sense of the selected interpretation, according to the context in which they appear. And who decides what is the proper context? You know, my boy, for they have taught you: it is authority, the most reliable commentator of all and the most invested with prestige, and therefore with sanctity. Otherwise how to avoid the misunderstandings into which the Devil lures us?

Related Characters: Abo of Fossonova (speaker), Jorge of Burgos
Page Number: 479
Explanation and Analysis:
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Seventh Day Quotes

The Devil is the arrogance of the spirit, faith without smile, truth that is never seized by doubt. […]And now I say to you that, in the infinite whirl of possible things, God allows you also to imagine a world where the presumed interpreter of the truth is nothing but a clumsy raven, who repeats words learned long ago.

Related Characters: William of Baskerville (speaker), Jorge of Burgos
Page Number: 511
Explanation and Analysis:
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Jorge of Burgos Character Timeline in The Name of the Rose

The timeline below shows where the character Jorge of Burgos appears in The Name of the Rose. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
First Day
The Subversive Power of Laughter Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...The other monks gather around and begin laughing at Adelmo’s drawings. They are interrupted by Jorge of Burgos, an aged and blind monk. Jorge thinks that Adelmo’s illustrations are “nonsense,” and... (full context)
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Jorge accuses Adelmo of taking pleasure in the “monsters he painted,” and of following the “path... (full context)
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...a conversation involving his “dear” friend, alluding to a particular closeness between Berengar and Adelmo. Jorge warns William and Adso that the Apocalypse is at hand, and that they should not... (full context)
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
At dinner that night, William and Jorge argue again about laughter. Jorge asserts that Christ never laughed, so neither should anyone else.... (full context)
Second Day
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...Aristotle mentions the excellence and usefulness of riddles, particularly the African riddle of the fish. Jorge said that he did not think it wise to take the Africans as models. Berengar... (full context)
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Back in the scriptorium, William engages Jorge in another argument about laughter in order to try to learn more about the conversation... (full context)
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Jorge, however, argues that to laugh at evil means “not preparing oneself to combat it.” Christ... (full context)
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...“finis Africae.” From this information, William hypothesizes that a distressed and guilty Adelmo went to Jorge to confess and ask for absolution, which Jorge probably refused. Adelmo then went to the... (full context)
Fifth Day
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
...to the infirmary and lock himself in, making sure that the book is kept safe. Jorge, Remigio, and Aymaro seem to overhear, and follow Severinus out. On William’s orders, Adso follows... (full context)
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
That evening, Jorge preaches a sermon reproaching the scholar-monks for their “sin of pride” in seeking to know... (full context)
Sixth Day
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
...of a thousand scorpions.” William sees that the fingers of his hands are also blackened. Jorge weeps and says “it will never end.” Nicholas is appointed cellarer to replace Remigio, but... (full context)
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Listening to the “Dies irae,” Adso has a vision. He sees Abo, Jorge, Bernard, other monks, and various Biblical figures arrayed for a feast. But the feast soon... (full context)
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...anyone mentioned the Coena in the discussion about riddles. Benno confirms that Venantius did, and Jorge became furious, reminding everyone that the book had been forbidden by the abbot. Benno asks... (full context)
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
...there is a commotion outside the Aedificium. The Italian monks are clustered together, whispering, and Jorge heads toward the chapter house with Nicholas. Benno tells them that the scriptorium is in... (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... (full context)
Seventh Day
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
...finis Africae is similar in shape to the other three heptagonal rooms inside the towers. Jorge is waiting for them in the room, sitting at a table covered with papers. He... (full context)
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
Religion and Politics Theme Icon
Jorge explains that he killed the abbot because Abo had asked him (spurred on by the... (full context)
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
William presents his hypothesis that it is Jorge, not the librarian, who has been the real power in the library for the past... (full context)
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
The Subversive Power of Laughter Theme Icon
“How could you be sure I would arrive?” William asks. Jorge explains that he always knew William would discover the mystery, from his thirst for knowledge,... (full context)
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
Jorge explains how he orchestrated the murders. He stole the deadly poison from the infirmary and... (full context)
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
 Jorge asks William what he wants as a reward for his persistence and intelligence. William demands... (full context)
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...of some fool,” a Syriac manuscript on alchemy, and a Latin summary of the Coena. Jorge is dismissive of all three texts, saying that “no one would lend an ear to... (full context)
The Subversive Power of Laughter Theme Icon
It is the final and fourth text that Jorge finds most dangerous: as William predicted, it is a Greek copy of the lost second... (full context)
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...murders were following the sequence of the “seven trumpets” in the Book of the Apocalypse. Jorge explains that he told Malachi that the book had the power of “a thousand scorpions”—one... (full context)
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
...returned prematurely “into the realm of darkness,” and William realized that Alinardo was referring to Jorge, who went back to Spain to acquire books for the library and who went blind... (full context)
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Jorge continues to insist that the apocalyptic pattern is true: “the Lord was sounding the seven... (full context)
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
The Subversive Power of Laughter Theme Icon
Jorge asks how William guessed that the forbidden book contained the second book of the Poetics.... (full context)
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
William admires Jorge’s ingenuity in spreading the poison on the forbidden book while blind, and in coming up... (full context)
The Subversive Power of Laughter Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
William asks why Jorge chose to suppress this book in particular, when there are “many other books that speak... (full context)
The Subversive Power of Laughter Theme Icon
William points out that one cannot eliminate laughter by eliminating this single book. Jorge concedes the point, but argues that laughter in its present form—the sort of entertainment that... (full context)
Religion and Politics Theme Icon
The Subversive Power of Laughter Theme Icon
...distracts one from fear, and fear of God is the only true law there is, Jorge asserts. “What would we be without fear?” he asks. The result would be nothing less... (full context)
Religion and Politics Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
William calls Jorge the Devil, telling him that his zeal for truth has made him monstrous, since, in... (full context)
The Subversive Power of Laughter Theme Icon
Judgement and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
William tells Jorge that it is over: he has found out the secret. But Jorge announces that another... (full context)
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
William and Adso pursue Jorge, hoping to catch him before he devours all of Aristotle’s book. They eventually find him... (full context)
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
...library in Christendom.” They have seen the face of the Antichrist tonight, he says, in Jorge’s uncompromising zeal for truth. He warns Adso to “fear prophets…and those prepared to die for... (full context)