Juan de Ercilla

                                                   "Caciques del estado defensores..."

A soldier and a chronicler, Ercilla wrote perhaps the first epic of the America. In  La Araucana, he writes of the war between the Spaniards and the Araucanos in Chile. Using a Renassentist style, Ercilla evokes classical images and uses them in his the depiction of the war, and his vision of the Indians. Ercilla relies in many stereotypes about the Indians, namely, their natural bravery (the trials of the fallen tree) and their nakedness. He wanted perhaps to enhance the Indian, not due to his admiration for them, but for the sake of the Spaniards fame. A bad enemy could not  make a good winner.
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