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Letter os lusiadas for colleagues and students Document Transcript

  • 1. Direcção Regional de Educação do Centro / Código – 403921Comenius Project 2011-2013Promoting Magic Places in Europe – Past, Present and Future__________________________________Os LusiadasIn the meeting in Portugal, we will do an activity at Oceanário, in Lisbonwhich involves “The Lusiads”. So, it’s advisable for you to have a previous ideaof what "Os Lusiadas" are and how this book is an important mark in thePortuguese culture, nowadays.So, we are sending you a text that is divided in three parts: the first one isan introduction to the book; the second one is a translation of a little bit ofCamões book, made by William Julius Mickle [1776, edition of 1877]; and thethird one is a reference to "The Lusiads" in "In Search of the Castaways: TheChildren of Captain Grant", by Jules Gabriel Verne.We hope you will enjoy it!
  • 2. Direcção Regional de Educação do Centro / Código – 4039211stpartOs Lusíadas (Portuguese pronunciation: [uʒ luˈzi.ɐðɐʃ]), usually translated asThe Lusiads, is a Portuguese epic poem by Luís Vaz de Camões (sometimesanglicized as Camoens).The book "Os Lusiadas" contains a profound spirit of nationalism, which projectsinto universal culture.Conquering the world with flavors of sea, always in love with the Lusitanian soul,the Portuguese, spread their culture and immortalized the name of Portugal across theglobe, through unknown seas.Written in Homeric fashion, the poem focuses mainly on a fantasticalinterpretation of the Portuguese voyages of discovery during the 15th and 16thcenturies. Os Lusíadas is often regarded as Portugals national epic, much in the wayas Virgils Aeneid was for the Ancient Romans, as well as Homers Iliad and Odysseyfor the Ancient Greeks. It was first printed in 1572, three years after the author returnedfrom the Indies.Internal structureThe poem consists of ten cantos, with a variable number of stanzas (1102 intotal), written in the decasyllabic ottava rima, which has the rhyme schemeABABABCC.The poem is made up of four sections: An introduction (proposition - presentation of the theme and heroes ofthe poem) Invocation – a prayer to the Tágides, the nymphs of the river Tejo; A dedication - (to D. Sebastião), followed by narration (the epic itself) An epilogue, (beginning at Canto X, stanza 145).
  • 3. Direcção Regional de Educação do Centro / Código – 403921The middle section contains the narration and a variety of scenes. The mostimportant part of Os Lusíadas, the arrival in India, was placed at the point in the poemthat divides the work according to the golden section at the beginning of Canto VII.The heroesThe heroes of the epic are the Lusiads (Lusíadas), the sons of Lusus or in otherwords, the Portuguese. The initial strophes of Jupiters speech in the Concílio dosDeuses Olímpicos (Olympian Gods Council) which open the narrative part, highlightthe laudatory orientation of the author.In these strophes, Camões speaks of Viriathus and Sertorius, the people ofLusus, a people predestined by the Fates to accomplish great deeds. Jupiter says thattheir history proves it because, having emerged victorious against the Moors andCastilians, this tiny nation has gone on to discover new worlds and impose its law inthe concert of the nations. At the end of the poem, in Love Island, a fictional finale ofthe glorious Portuguese walk throughout history, Camões writes that the fear onceexpressed by Bacchus has been confirmed: that the Portuguese would become gods.The extraordinary Portuguese discoveries and the "new kingdom that theyexalted so much" ("novo reino que tanto sublimaram") in the East, and certainly therecent and extraordinary deeds of "strong Castro" ("Castro forte", the viceroy D.Joãode Castro), who had died some years before the poets arrival to Indian lands, were thedecisive factors for Camões completing the Portuguese epic. Camões dedicated hismasterpiece to King Sebastian of Portugal.The narrators and their speechesThe vast majority of the narration in Os Lusíadas consists of grandiloquentspeeches by the various orators. For example the main narrator makes a number ofspeeches on various occasions: Vasco da Gama, recognized as "eloquent captain"("facundo capitão"); Paulo da Gama; Thetis... The Siren (canto X), that foretells withthe sound of music; when the poet asks the Tágides (nymphs of the river Tagus) "a talland sublimated sound,/ a grandiloquent and current style" ("um som alto e sublimado, /Um estilo grandíloquo e corrente"). In contrast to the style of lyric poetry, or "humble
  • 4. Direcção Regional de Educação do Centro / Código – 403921verse" ("verso humilde"), he is thinking about this exciting tone of oratory. There are inthe poem some brief but notable speeches (Jupiters, Velho do Restelos...)There are also descriptive passages, like the description of the palaces ofNeptune and the Samorim of Calicute, the locus amoenus of Love Island (Canto IX),the dinner in the palace of Thetis (Canto X), Gamas cloth (end of Canto II). Sometimesthese descriptions are like a slide show: the things that are described are there andthere is someone who shows them; (geographic start of Gamas speech to the king ofMelinde, certain sculptures of the palaces of Neptune and the Samorim, the speech ofPaulo da Gama to the Catual and the Machine of the World (Máquina do Mundo)...)Examples of dynamic descriptions include the "battle" of the Island ofMozambique, the battles of Ourique and Aljubarrota, the storm. Camões is a master inthese descriptions, marked by the verbs of movement, the abundance of visual andacoustic sensations, and expressive alliterations. There are also many lyrical moments.Those texts are normally narrative-descriptive. This is the case with the initial part ofthe episode of the Sad Inês, of the final part of the episode of the Adamastor and of theencounter on Love Island (Canto IX). All these cases resemble eclogues.On several occasions the poet assumes a tone of lament, as at the end of CantoI, part of the speech of the Velho do Restelo, the end of Canto V, the beginning andend of Canto VII, and the final strophes of the poem. Many times, in difficult moments,Gama bursts into oration: in Mombasa (Canto II), in the apparition of Adamastor, and inthe middle of the terror of the storm. The poets invocations to the Tágides, to Calliope(beginning of Canto III), to the Nymphs of Tagus and Mondego (Canto VII), and againto Calliope (Canto X), in typological terms, are also orations. Each one of these typesof speech shows stylistically peculiarities.
  • 5. Direcção Regional de Educação do Centro / Código – 4039212ndparttrans. by William Julius Mickle[1776, edition of 1877]Canto I54From Abram’s race our holy prophet sprung,An angel taught, and heaven inspir’d his tongue;His sacred rites and mandates we obey,And distant empires own his holy sway.From isle to isle our trading vessels roam,Mozambique’s harbour our commodious home.Canto V9Here, our bold fleet their pond’rous anchors threw,The sickly cherish, and our stores renew.From him, the warlike guardian pow’r of Spain,Whose spear’s dread lightning o’er th’ embattled plainHas oft o’erwhelm’d the Moors in dire dismay,And fix’d the fortune of the doubtful day;From him we name our station of repair,And Jago’s name that isle shall ever bear.The northern winds now curl’d the black’ning main,Our sails unfurl’d, we plough the tide again
  • 6. Direcção Regional de Educação do Centro / Código – 40392165Now, round black Afric’s coast our navy veer’d,And, to the world’s mid circle, northward steer’d:The southern pole low to the wave declin’d,We leave the isle of Holy Cross behind:That isle where erst a Lusian, when he pass’dThe tempest-beaten cape, his anchors cast,And own’d his proud ambition to exploreThe kingdoms of the morn could dare no moreCanto VI10Adorn’d with pillars, and with roofs of gold,The golden gates their massy leaves unfold:Inwrought with pearl the lordly pillars shine,The sculptur’d walls confess a hand divine.Here, various colours in confusion lost,Old Chaos’ face and troubled image boast.Here, rising from the mass, distinct and clear,Apart, the four fair elements appear.Canto X137Lav’d by the Red Sea gulf, Socotra’s bowersThere boast the tardy aloe’s beauteous flowers.On Afric’s strand, foredoom’d to Lusian sway,Behold these isles, and rocks of dusky gray;From cells unknown here bounteous ocean poursThe fragrant amber on the sandy shores.And lo, the Island of the Moon displaysHer vernal lawns, and num’rous peaceful bays:The halcyons hov’ring o’er the bays are seen,And lowing herds adorn the vales of green.
  • 7. Direcção Regional de Educação do Centro / Código – 4039213rdpartIn Search of the Castaways: The Children of Captain GrantBy Jules Gabriel Verne