Galileo

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09/25/2012

In a critical time in history in Western civilization, man accosted for the first time the evidence that his conceptions of truth were entirely wrong. Galileo comes alive as a larger than life genius from the pages, full of witticisms and blustering energy. Even his betrayal of his own science tends to be easily forgiven by the audience because he is such a genial revolutionary.  Apart from the drama of science standing up to religion depicted as some sort of bully, I liked the subtle inclinations of Marxism within the play. In the discussions about Latin and how writing science in English will spell doom to the nobility, we get a sense that the real danger that Galileo represented was not just contradictory new knowledge but that the knowledge was suddenly out in the public realm. Galileo had to die because he was not just an academician, he was a new kind of preacher - a preacher of logic. These instances are woven into the grander drama with small scenes of Galileo ranting about professors having to teach all seven days and having not "time for research and about "knowledge as commodity", these are the scenes that to me made this a play of our times.

As for theologians, the play depicts them as dogmatic, contributors to Galileo’s socio-political struggles, as aristocracy was using the existing ideas of religion to maintain a hold over the peasantry.

Life of Galileo is not merely another book about the enraging conflict between science and its mindless counterpart religion, but also about society and in the end life itself.
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