1492: The Conquest of Paradise by Ridley Scott | Essay Analysis
Christopher Columbus, a Spaniard who has enjoyed the bright side of history is seriously under reassessment concerning his past life of adventures and explorations. Having grown up in Spain during his childhood, Columbus did not school so much, however, he had a wild passion for adventure and explorations of other foreign lands out of his country. In fact, he testifies in one of his writings that, at age ten, he had already gone to the sea. There is no doubt that Columbus was an ambitious man during his lifetime, always yearning to move beyond borders in the name of explorations, trade, and later on, conquest. He had a passion for astronomy, geography, and history and read books about them. In addition, he had learned a number of other foreign languages including Latin and Castilian at a tender age.
With her ability to make daring long overseas voyages East Indies, Hispaniola and America, and ability establish trade routes and discover the ‘new’ lands of Americas; he won the support and funding of the Spanish Crown, who provided financial support to him. In America, for example, Christopher Columbus has been presented as a mercenary and the founder of a new race. In this context, Columbus inaugurated colonialism and initiated the devastation of early American civilizations (Samuel 580). This is because, through his voyages, he made the initial contacts between the Americas and Europe, which would later see the advent of colonialism in America and the establishment of completely different world order.
Indeed, political opportunism, popular culture, and educational system have often canonized him as a national myth as well as a national legend in America. To emphasize this, on the second Monday of October every year, Americans celebrate a Federal ‘holiday’ and individuals flinch at the thought of honoring Christopher Columbus (Sale 208). However, several myths need interrogation to ascertain the right understanding of Christopher Columbus and his likely bleak side of life. In a bid to thwart the ‘holiday’ allowed in honor of Christopher Columbus, a number of agonizing myths have emerged. Eight misnomers and myths horrendous, greedy, bloody, and sexually perverse activities by Columbus and his crew came to the fore. These include:
That on the way back, Columbus stole a reward he had earlier promised a sailor on the discovery of new land, claiming that he had seen dim light to the west. Second, Columbus painted described a picture of peaceful natives in Arawaks- it later emerged that the natives of Arawaks were evil and savage cannibals who drunk the blood of their victims (Sale 207). Some argue that Columbus never landed in American soil at all. In addition, Columbus and his crewmembers were hard-core rapists and murderers- one the crewmembers is reported to have owned up in this regard. The man Columbus used the local natives as food for his dogs. In addition, he lost his governorship in the overseas settlements and returned to Spain in Shackles, with strained relations with the Spanish Crown while out in foreign colonies (Samuel 582). Furthermore, He availed native sex slaves to his crewmen. Finally, that Columbus exchanged local people for gold. Evidently, he valued gold more than any other thing or man.
In view of these misnomers highlighted above, prudence demands that we‘re-read’ the texts about Christopher Columbus and carry out more in-depth research about his personality and his achievements. There is a need non-reliance on archival information, which [as it appears] may not be the true representation of facts about Christopher Columbus.
Samuel, Eliot, Morison, “Admiral of the ocean and sea: a life of Christopher Columbus”, pp.
576-590, 1997. Print.
Sale, Kirkpatrick, “The Conquest of Paradise: Christopher Columbus and the Columbian Legacy,
pp.204-209, 2004. Print.