in Barchester Towers

Chapter 26 – Mrs. Proudie Wrestles and Gets a Fall

divine anger

The “divine” anger of Mrs. Proudie is reminiscent of Hera’s anger described by Zeus at in the Iliad. Hera becomes upset when she thinks that her husband, Zeus, takes the side of the Trojans in the Greek War, instead of her side with the Greeks.  Mrs. Proudie is upset that her husband the biship seems to have taken Mr. Slope’s side in their small war. [MD 2005]

Sources:  Homer, Iliad 1.518-521.


As Achilles warmed at the sight of his armor…

Achilles is a hero in Homer’s Iliad, who is famous for his superiority on the battlefield, but also for his immense anger.  This Classical allusion refers to a passage in book 19 of Homer’s Iliad.  Achilles is upset about the death of his close friend Patroclus, and while he is grieving, his mother brings him arms made by the immortal god Hephaestus so that he may avenge his friend.  At the sight of the weapons, Achilles’ anger flares up as he anticipates avenging the death of his friend.  In a similar way, Mrs. Proudie becomes energized when she sees her own weapons which she can use in her war against Mr. Slope for control of her husband.  When she looks upon the pillow of their bed, Mrs. Proudie knows that she will be able to convince the bishop to do what she wants as soon as he goes to bed.  [MD 2005]

Sources:  Homer, Iliad, 19.15-20.


nolo episcopari

A Latin phrase meaning “I do not wish to be bishop.” This is the appropriate response with which an individual should reply if he is offered the position of bishop in the church, even if he wishes to accept it. Trollope implies here that any other person, besides Bishop Proudie, would probably not want to be the bishop if he had to deal with Mrs. Proudie and her constant meddling; and thus, this person would actually mean nolo episcopari when saying the phrase.  [MD 2005]