El Buen Salvaje Canta

Author: John Clancy

Clancy, John, 2020 El Buen Salvaje Canta , Flinders University, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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The poem Tabaré by Juan Zorrilla de San Martín has been considered the national epic poem of Uruguay since its creation in 1886. Tabaré recounts he struggle of the indigenous Charrúa tribe of the Banda Oriental (modern Uruguay) against the Spanish invaders of the sixteenth century and their ultimate defeat. Its popularity served to eclipse a preceding series of literary works which also depicted the Charrúas. Zorrilla’s overall negative portrayal of a vanished race prevailed for much of the following century.

This thesis investigates three earlier literary works, a drama, a novelette, and a grand opera, and compares their treatment of the same characters and historical events. This study reveals the existence of some commonalities among all three works, including a more positive interpretation of the Charrúas and their place in Uruguayan history. The comparative study includes the analysis of literary themes and use of language. The examination of excerpts from the opera will reveal how the music of the opera relates to the mentioned themes and to the text of Desteffanis. For the purpose of this thesis, an original and sole recording of these excerpts has been prepared. To the author’s knowledge, this thesis represents the first study of the opera from that perspective.

Keywords: Charrua Indians, Drama, Novelette, Grand Opera, Latin American Literature

Subject: Languages thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2020
School: College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Supervisor: Javier Diez Martinez