The Name of the Rose Themes

The Name of the Rose Themes


In the novel, the author analyzes different aspects of religion and how those aspects influenced the people’s lives. The narrator presents the political environment of the age while also presenting the way politics and religion were intertwined. While the narrator never expresses his opinion on the matter, William lets it be understood that he personally believes that things would be better if religion and politics would function separately. This idea is an unpopular one among the monks as religion had wealth because it was involved in politics and the politicians had power because the religious leaders told the peasants to obey their rulers. However, William points out that this type of relationship can create various conflicts resulting in violence and even murder as it was seen in the novel.

The power of knowledge

The main reason why the murders happened in the novel is that some characters refused to believe that knowledge should be accessible to everyone. Those characters harbored the idea that knowledge is dangerous and that if knowledge were to fall in the hands of those who do not know what to do with it, then there will be dire consequences to support. This idea made them act heretically and violent towards everyone who wanted to discover the things they wanted to keep hidden. However, this only proved that trying to hide the knowledge can sometimes be more destructive than letting that piece of information in the open and that no matter what we do, the truth has a way of getting out.


When Adso and William first reach the abbey, they harbor the impression that the people inside the abbey are all God-fearing and that they made their purpose in life to serve God. However, this proves to be wrong as their flaws are quickly discovered. William and Adso discover quickly that many of them have ambitions fueled by the desire to gain wealth while others have no problems in engaging in sexual activities both with women and men just to gain something they wanted. This proves that the religious class was not as pure as one would like to believe and that being hypocritical was something common.

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