Introducing Guy Fawkes

Chi era Guy Fawkes? Perchè si celebra il 5 novembre? Scoprilo leggendo questo articolo della nostra madrelingua Clare.

Clare ha in partenza il suo “Stretch & Enrich”, corso di conversazione inglese. Dagli un’occhiata!

Guy Fawkes

Remember remember the 5th of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes night

Bonfire Night, or Guy Fawkes Night, is traditionally celebrated in the UK on the 5th of November. But who was this man and what did he do to be celebrated?

A celebration of a failure

In fact, the firework displays are not to commemorate Guy Fawkes, but to celebrate his failure. Life-size home-made models of him are often burnt on bonfires.

Guy Fawkes

Guy Fawkes’ story: a religious origin

Guy Fawkes was born in York, Protestant England, in 1570. When he was eight, his father died, and his mother married a man who broke the law by following his Catholic faith. Having converted to Catholicism, when he grew up, Guy left for the Netherlands to fight the spread of Protestantism along with Catholic Spain.

At the time, Queen Elizabeth I’s reign was coming to an end in England. She, like her father Henry VIII, was a Protestant and also the head of the Church of England, but she had been preceeded by her sister Mary, a Catholic. As Elizabeth’s cousin, the protestant King James VI of Scotland, looked set to take the English throne, Guy Fawkes joined forces with other English Catholics to come up with a plot to replace James with a Catholic monarch.

The plan

The plan was to blow up the Houses of Parliament on the 5th of November, 1604, the day of the state opening of Parliament by the new King James. However, the night of the 4th of November, Guy Fawkes was found guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder that they had managed to sneak in!

Guy Fawkes

Guy Fawkes was tried and found guilty of Treason, punishable by being hung, drawn and quartered. However, he actually died by falling from the scaffold from which he would have been hung – saving himself a painful end.

Britain’s most celebrated criminal

Although it is the discovery of the plot, not the man himself, we are marking, Guy Fawkes is probably Britain’s most celebrated criminal.

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