in Dr. Wortle's School

Chapter 05 – “Then We Must Go”


Whereas the reference in Chapter 1 to Dr. Wortle as Jupiter was made by Trollope-as-narrator, in this instance Mrs. Peacocke introduces the Classical reference.  Whether or not a character is able to deploy Classics appropriately is a testament to their ability to judge the situation or characters around them and draw an apt comparison.  In repeating and reinforcing a use of Classics employed earlier by the author Mrs. Peacocke is shown to have an insight into Dr. Wortle’s character similar to the author’s own.  This conversation between husband and wife also shows that they are equals, able to banter as peers using the Classical reference.  Mrs. Peacocke is even able to transfer the joke from Jupiter-the-god to Jupiter-the-planet, demonstrating her quick wit.  [JE & RR 2014]



Mr. Peacocke describes the Peacocke’s relationship and living arrangement “as fixed by fate.”  Mr. Peacocke appeals to a Classical and abstract idea of a higher power affecting human life; he does not invoke a Christian God in this context, since his living situation with Mrs. Peacocke violates Christian convention.  [RR 2014]