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November 15, 2005

I am sorry your Reverance

Schnitzler, Professor Bernardhi Acts 1-3 -- Drama as Literature (EL 250)

Priest: Again: Can the patient be saved? Does my apperance constitute a danger in this sense? If so, I should, of course, be prepared to withdraw.

Priest: It is not for you, Professor, to gran me absolution. The poor creature in there deid a sinner without the consolations of her religion and for that you are responsible.

I thought that this part of the play was really weird. I didn't really understand why Bernhardi would not let the Priest into the room. Lorin and I talked about this at breakfast this morning and were contemplating on why the Priest was forbidden to go in. Maybe the girl was Jewish or another religion or had a fear of talking to a priest and telling her sins. I think that the Professor thought that if he went in there that she would have guessed she was going to die. Why would a priest come in from out of nowhere to see her? It probably would have scared her more to die and to know that she was dying.
Also i thought it was weird how they called her a creature. I know we say we are God's creatures, but to me that is rude. That is just me.
I dont know, what do you guys think about the whole situation with the Priest?

Posted by Denamarie at November 15, 2005 12:08 PM

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Denamarie, recognize that we're studying a translation, so the original word might not have sounded quite so strange.

Until fairly recently, a dying Catholic would receive a sacrament known informally as "Last Rites." The Church now prefers to call that sacrament "Anointing of the Sick," and today it's given to anyone who's ill -- you don't have to be near death.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at November 15, 2005 12:34 PM

Thank you Dr. Jerz for clearing that up for me. But i am still confused as to why Bernardhi denied the Priest from seeing the girl.

Posted by: Denamarie at November 15, 2005 04:05 PM

The patient thinks she going to live. If the priest comes to give her last rites, she'll know she's going to die. Berhardi just wants to let her die happy.

Posted by: Kayla Sawyer at November 15, 2005 04:12 PM

I agree with Kayla and you when you said, "I think that the Professor thought that if he went in there that she would have guessed she was going to die." People are aware of the fact that if a priest makes a special trip to see them then they have to be very ill. Like the doctor said she did not think that she was going to die and she was happy. He did not want the priest to go in their and ruin her happiness, even if she would have been forgiven. In my opinion, I think that it was wrong for the priest to assume that she died a sinner because how does he know that she wasn't repenting the whole time they were speaking? Both the doctor and the priest had their point and I can understand why each acted the way that they did, so I don't think that one was necessarily right and one was wrong.

Posted by: Gina at November 15, 2005 09:21 PM

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