Exam of three authors assgn

Exam of three authors assgn - James Andreoli Arts and...

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James Andreoli Arts and Letters 100 Re-imagining the Renaissance Professor Sean Roberts Examination of a Few European Travel Writings When one reads A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies , by Bartolome de las Casas, Marco Polo’s Travels and the letters of Amerigo Vespucci instantly come to mind as similar forms of literature written during the Renaissance. However, are they all really European Travel Writings, or rather something much different? Examining the similarities and differences between the pieces may illuminate the distinction. The similarities in the way that the authors describe these new places they visit is remarkable. They all exhibit a form of fascination on how the native population differs from the explorers both physically and mentally. When considering the physical differences all three authors demonstrate a fascination with the natives. Casas describes their clothing, “Most of them go naked, save for a loincloth to cover their modesty” (Casas 10). This is similar to the descriptions that Vespucci offers in his letters. He describes their voyage, “We saw quite a truly infinite number of people, speaking various tongues, and all naked” (Vespucci 15-16). As demonstrated by this description, the Europeans were intrigued by the fact that the natives ran around naked, with little or no clothing whatsoever. Marco Polo describes one of the lands he visited as having “inhabitants…[who] dwell amongst the mountains and in places difficult of access” (Polo 22). Polo is much more concerned with the features of each group, like their geography and living areas, rather than the physical descriptions of the people themselves. This minor divergence from the other writers demonstrates Polo’s concerns with the area rather than - 1 -
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Andreoli 2 the natives themselves. From this, it is clear that Europeans value the knowledge of the different
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Exam of three authors assgn - James Andreoli Arts and...

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