Can you provide a summary of La Araucana?

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The main events of the Arauco War (the conquest of Chile and its aftermath) are related in epic poetry by Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga. The work was published in three parts: the first in 1569, the second in 1578, and the third posthumously, in 1589.

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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 poem is the progress of the War, with mythical flourishes occasionally added to the deaths of major heroes. Alongside this historical account, however, is a supernatural and magical one that shows the influence of Ercilla's classical sources (he is particularly often compared to Virgil), where the gods intervene. At one point, for instance, the narrator is taken by a sorcerer for a flight over the earth to see what is happening in Europe and the Middle East while the war is going on in Chile.

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La Araucana (sometimes also called The Araucaniad) is a poem by Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga (1533-1594). Ercilla was an aristocrat born into a Basque family who was raised in the court of King Philip II of Spain after his father's death. He was well educated and well-traveled. In 1555, he traveled to the New World, first to Peru and then to Chile, where he was a witness to the revolt of the Araucanians. He wrote La Araucana in three parts, published in 1569, 1578, and 1589-1590, with the first part being historical narrative, the second part incorporating visionary and allegorical elements, and the third part collecting miscellaneous impressions of people and events related to the war.

Araucanía or Araucana is a term the Spaniards used to describe the Mapuche or Moluche indigenous inhabitants of Chile. In contemporary Chile, the term Araucanians (araucanos) is considered demeaning as it was coined by colonial oppressors. Before the Spanish conquest, they were an agricultural culture known for their striking textiles. The Arauco War, in which Ercilla was a participant, ran from 1546 through 1793, with the Mapuche resisting Spanish conquest and rule. Even after Chilean independence, the Mapuche still suffer from various forms of repression and discrimination which they continue to resist.

The 37 cantos or major sections of the poem are written in ottava rima, an eight-line stanza made popular by Boccaccio, Ariosto, Tasso and other Italian Renaissance poets for heroic and mock heroic poems. The rhyme scheme is a-b-a-b-a-b-c-c.

The poem begins with the capture and death of the Spanish conqueror Pedro de Valdivia, whom Ercilla sees as blameworthy due to his mistreatment of the Mapuche, and continues with extended treatment of the subsequent course of the rebellion, the execution of Mapuche leaders, and the suppression of the rebellion. Much of the text covers military encounters. Even though Ercilla sees Spanish rule as legitimate, he admires the courage, character, and wisdom of the Mapuche leaders such as Caupolicán, Lautaro, Colocolo, and Galvarino, treating them as "noble savages". He models his style on classical epic and treats the Mapuche with the sort of sympathy that Homer evinces for the Trojans.

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Keep in mind that you are actually asking for the summary of an epic poem, which is quite an unusual request. However, I am happy to provide one for you. Also, you didn't indicate whether you wanted the summary in Spanish or English. Since eNotes is primarily an English-language site, I am going to use that language. Regardless, this story is about the native culture of Chile during Spain's attempt to conquer Chile under Alonso de Ercilla. 

As the national poem of Chile and a work of the Spanish Golden Age, this story is mostly about numerous battles. The Arauca Indians were both a fierce and a proud race to take on the Spanish. A member of Phillip II's own family tells that story. All the Arauca want is independence, but it doesn't come easily. 

As evidenced by the story, the full fight became known as the Arauco War. We learn that this story is really about just the beginning of that war. Now we read, in verse form, battle after battle of the lesser-known conqusest of this war precisely because the author fought in them and could give first hand experience. The result would affect Chile economically, socially, and politically for centuries.

In conclusion, please realize that La Araucana is known as The Araucaniad when it is referred to in English. Due to the discrepancies in translation and due to the fact that it is a 16th-century epic poem, summaries are hard to come by.

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