Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 219
If you’re sitting down to write the basics about The Lusiads, by Louis Vaz De Camoes, it helps to begin with a few key facts, such as that it was written in the late 16th century in Portugal, or that it is a narrative poem written in four parts. The first part introduces the heroes, and these are the Lusiads, which represents the Portuguese people.
Then, there is a prayer to nymphs from the Portuguesa river Tagus, a dedication to King Sebastian I of Portugal, and then the whole epic. This part doesn’t start until stanza 19, however. The poem includes elements such as the Greek god Jupiter and general praise for Portugal as a country.
It goes through the fated nature of the Portuguese people, including the feats that they have accomplished during and before the time of the poem. This includes discovering new worlds and conquering them.
The poem ends at a placed called The Island of Love, where the ancient Greek God of Wine, Bacchus, proclaims that the Portuguese people have become like gods themselves. When writing your summary, it’s also important to note that the main point of the poem is clearly to praise Portugal in general, and the plot is in service of that goal and is less important on its own.