The distorted story of Guy Fawkes, a Catholic supremacist
Guy Fawkes was a fundamentalist Catholic religious bigot who wanted to blow people up. It takes a real dunderhead to wear one of his masks to protests. The people most like him today are in SSPX and other traditionalist Catholic organizations.
But this romanticized view of Fawkes, according to historians, distorts the truth about Fawke’s life and in many ways, misrepresents what Fawkes, a Catholic supremacist, actually stood for.
“The image of Guy Fawkes has been fashioned for modern protest purposes,” said Alastair Bellany, a history professor at Rutgers University. “And that use has distorted the historical understanding of Fawkes.”
Bellany said that when he teaches Guy Fawkes, all of his students come to class with an idea of the man and his ideology.
That idea of Fawkes largely stems from his use in V for Vendetta, a 2006 movie based on the comic books by Alan Moore about a mysterious masked revolutionary who brings down a totalitarian regime, succeeding where Fawkes failed by blowing up parliament.
The Guy Fawkes mast is worn by V, the films protagonist, a man who fought against injustice and in the end (spoiler alert), sacrificed himself for the movement.
The problem is, says Newton Key, a professor at Eastern Illinois University, that story is not only wrong, but makes Fawkes out to be the mastermind that he wasn’t.
“The Gun Powder plot was about one issue, restoring Catholic supremacy,” Key said. “That has fused to uproar against that man, but that wasn’t really what Fawkes and his coconspirators were intending.”
“I can see why they like it, but it is mainly referencing the movie and not the actual plot,” Key said.