Galileo Literary Elements

Galileo Literary Elements


A play



Setting and Context

The events described in the story take place in a time period from 1606 to 1633 in Padua, Florence, Rome and in countryside near Florence.

Narrator and Point of View

The story is told from the third point of view by an omniscient narrator.

Tone and Mood

Tone of the story is often agitated, while mood is often stressed one.

Protagonist and Antagonist

Galileo is the protagonist of the story. The Inquisition is the antagonist of the story.

Major Conflict

Major conflict of this story depicts people’s unwillingness to accept the truth. It is man vs. society. The second most interesting and important conflict described in this story is man vs. self. Galileo is made to choose between the truth and his own life. To step in a bonfire and die or to recant are equally unattractive options for Galileo.


The moment, when Andrea and other people hear proclamation of Galileo’s recantation of his views is the climax of the play.


A mention of the Copernican system foreshadows events of the story, for a reader understands that this play is going to be dedicated to Galileo’s attempt to prove that the Copernican system is correct.


Because the old days are over and this is a new time.
This phrase of Galileo is an example of an understatement, for here he doesn’t take the Inquisition’s influence seriously. He believes that they belong to the old days, while the majority lives in a new time, which is not true.


Giordano Bruno, Aristotle and Copernicus


Imagery is widely used to describe emotional states of Galileo.


I have no use for discussions which are not objective.
This phrase is paradoxical because Galileo and others talk about science, but some of Galileo’s opponents refuse to listen to proven facts, implying that there is no point of doing it.


I won’t have to take private pupils, but shall have the time, time, time, time, time – to work out my proofs.
This example of parallelism indicates Galileo’s distress.


Science’s light began to shine.
Science can’t shine. Using personification, the author indicates that a lot of scientific discoveries and investigations were made in that period of time.

Use of Dramatic Devices


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