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Jorge de Burgos

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Venerable Jorge

Laughter kills fear, and without fear there can be no faith, because without fear of the Devil, there is no need of God.
~ Venerable Jorge, explaining his hatred for comedy.

Jorge de Burgos, mostly known as Venerable Jorge is a blind old monk and the main antagonist of the 1986 film, The Name of the Rose. Resided in a remote abbey in Northern Italy, he was behind the murders of several monks but the last man to be suspected of the crimes. A true zealot, he hates comedy and believes that anything comedic in religion is the work of the Devil. His murder weapon is poison which tainted a book of comedy and anyone who touchs the poison will die.

The film's protagonist, William of Baskerville, played by Sean Connery, arrives at the abbey to investigate the first murder and many more die as he solves the mystery. He went to the library to find clues and butts heads with Venerable Jorge. Jorge heard laughing and went into an outrage, believing that comedy and laughter are the Devil's works. He also believes that Christ has always been a serious, fearful being who never laughed. William believes that is not true and explains that several saints have written comedic stories as well as Aristotle writing a famous book about comedy, but it is had lost for centuries. Jorge rebuffs him and assures him that Aristotle would never have written such evil and there is no proof of such. Two more men are found dead and William autopsyed them: finding black spots on their fingers and on their tongues. He concluded that all three men died after reading a book from the abbey's secret library and asks to see it but is denied. Jorge does not believe him and believes that God killed them for whatever sins they have committed. The Abbott took Jorge's side and decided to summon Bernardo Gui of the Holy Inquisition to take part in the investigation.

Later that night, William and his protege snuck into the library and were joyfully overwhelmed of what they found but did not find the book. Gui arrived shortly after their discovery and learned that two monks who had a past of killing rich people for the poor man's sake were living there in secret and accused them of the murders. William assures the abbey that they are not responsible, leaving Gui to conclude that William is behind the murders. Jorge learns that the librarian, his closest friend, had fallen victim to his crimes, feels remorseful and retreats to the library. William confronts Jorge in the library with the murder weapon. The pages had been tainted with a toxin that will kill anyone if tasted. All the victims touched their tongues with their fingers to turn the pages easier and therefore fed themselves the poison. Jorge congratulated William for solving the mystery and allowed him to read the book, hoping the poison will kill him. William knew of the poison and uses a glove to turn the pages and learns that the book is the lost comedy written by Aristotle. Jorge escapes and sets the library on fire. He accidently sets himself on fire and perishes along with the library. William and his protege escape, and leave the abbey the next morning.

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