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Is there a summary of La Araucana?

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La Araucana is often regarded as the national epic of Chile, though it was written by one of the Spanish conquistadors fighting against the Araucanian or Mapuche people of Chile. However, the poet, Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga, was sympathetic to and admiring of the Mapuches, presenting them as noble adversaries.

The poem describes the capture and killing of the Spanish conqueror of Chile, Pedro de Valdivia, in 1553, followed by the events of the First and Second Great Mapuche Rebellions. The death of Lautaro, one of the most important Mapuche commanders, at the Battle of Mataquito in 1557 is treated with heroic solemnity, as is that of Caupolicán, the principal hero of the epic, the following year.

The Arauco War was still going on, and the Third Great Mapuche Rebellion had not yet occurred when the third and final part of La Araucana was published in 1589. However, the poem gives a fairly accurate and balanced account of the initial phase of the conflict. Essentially, the plot of the...

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