Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga: La Araucana [The Araucaniad] (2135 words)


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Alonso de Ercilla (1533-94) published the three volumes that comprise La Araucana in 1569, 1578, and 1589. The poem was an instant success and soon became the most admired and imitated epic of the Spanish Golden Age. Due to Ercilla’s heroic depiction of Araucanian resistance to Spanish colonization, La Araucana was chosen as the national poem of Chile after the country gained its independence. Today it remains a canonical work in the fields of Spanish and Latin American literature and history.

The poem narrates a five-year period of warfare (1553-58) between the Araucanians—a group of war-like, semi-nomadic natives of southern Chile—and the Spaniards who were attempting to colonize the region. …

Citation: Maxey, Bryce. "La Araucana". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 June 2017 [, accessed 11 April 2021.]

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