The Name of the Rose

by Umberto Eco

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Who is the narrator of The Name of the Rose?

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The narrator in Umberto Eco's 1983 historical mystery novel The Name of the Rose is Austrian Benedictine monk Adso of Melk.

Adso recalls the time when he was a young friar-in-training and apprentice of the intelligent and observant monk and amateur detective Brother William of Baskerville, who was sent to investigate a series of mysterious deaths in a northern Italian monastery.

Adso is essentially the Watson to Brother William's Sherlock; he's curious, inquisitive, supportive of his master, loyal, brave, kind, and compassionate. He loves to read and write; in fact, he tends to catalog almost everything, and he's more than thrilled to join Brother William in his pursuit of knowledge and truth.

As a narrator, Adso can be deemed reliable, as he's essentially William's biographer. He describes the crime and the clues in great detail and showcases the brilliance and genius of his master without exaggeration. The story is told from Adso's subjective point of view, which means Adso is a first-person central narrator.

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