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Camões, Luís vaz de (1525–1580)

Camões, Luís vaz de (1525–1580)

Luís vaz de Camões (b. 1525?; d. 10 June 1580), Portuguese poet. One of the most renowned figures of Portuguese letters, Luís de Camões authored a substantial corpus that includes the epic poem Os Lusíadas (The Lusiads, 1572), a cornerstone of his fame in world literature, lyric poetry (principal editions published in 1595 and 1598), plays, and familiar epistles. Little biographical information is known about Camões, although it is certain that he spent many of his adult years as a soldier in the Portuguese Empire. His poetry, written in both Portuguese and Spanish, was composed in the traditional style (the medida velha, as it was known in the poet's time) as well as in the dolce stil nuovo, introduced into Portugal by Francisco de Sá de Miranda. Os Lusíadas consists of 1,102 stanzas in ottava rima divided into ten cantos and reflects the epic imagination of the sixteenth-century Portuguese. The theme is nothing less than the history of Portugal—and it is the nation that emerges as the collective hero—articulated around the voyage of Vasco da Gama to India in 1497. Os Lusíadas was the model for Bento Teixeira's Prosopopéia (1601), an encomiastic poem about Jorge de Albuquerque Coelho, governor of Pernambuco.

See alsoPortuguese Empire .


Jorge De Sena, Trinta anos de Camões, 1948–1978: Estudos camonianos e correlatos (1980).

Maria De Lourdes Belchior and Enrique Martínez-López, eds., Camoniana Californiana: Commemorating the Quadricentennial of the Death of Luís Vaz de Camões; Proceedings of the Colloquium Held at the University of California, Santa Barbara, April 25 and 26, 1980 (1985).

David Quint, "Voices of Resistance: The Epic Curse and Camões's Adamastor," in New World Encounters, edited by Stephen Greenblatt (1993).

Additional Bibliography

Madeira, José. Camões Contra a Expansão e o Império: Os Lusíadas como Antiepopeia. Lisboa: Fenda, 2000.

                                   Josiah Blackmore

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