Luís Vaz de Camões

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Camões, Luís Vaz de


Born December 1524 or January 1525, in Lisbon; died there June 10, 1580. Portuguese poet; the most important representative of the Portuguese Renaissance. Son of a nobleman.

Camões served as a soldier in Morocco (1549–51) and India (1553–70). His lyrical poems are filled with a sense of the disharmony of the world. The theme of most of his sonnets is unhappy love, and some are critical of courtly life. In his comedies, written approximately between 1544 and 1549, Camões adhered to the principles of the Italian humanist drama, glorified the Renaissance ideal of exalted love (Filodemo, published in 1547), and denounced despotic power (El-Rei Seleuco, published in 1645). Camões achieved world renown with his epic poem Os Lusíadas (1572; first Russian translation by A. Dmitriev, 1788), which takes its name from the mythological Lusus, from whom, according to legend, the Portuguese are descended. The poem relates the voyage of Vasco da Gama to India and its colonization by the Portuguese. Many pages of Os Lusíadas describe the courage, heroism, and fortitude of the people. Glorifying the history of Portugal and extolling his people’s striving to expand their knowledge of the world and their practical activity, Camões overlooked the tragic consequences of the conquests for the subjugated peoples. His faith in the unlimited possibilities of reason and his exposure of universal venality and of the power of gold make Os Lusíadas one of the outstanding works of Renaissance humanism. Establishing the standards of the Portuguese literary language, this work was significant in shaping the realist school in poetry.


Obras completas, vols. 1–5. Lisbon, 1946–54.
In Russian translation:
Luziady (excerpts). In Khrestomatiia po zarubezhnoi literature: Epokha Vozrozhdeniia, vol. 1. Compiled by B. I. Purishev. Moscow, 1959.
Sonety. Translated from the Portuguese, with a preface, by V. Levik. Moscow, 1964.


Braga, T. Camóes: A obra lírica épica. Porto, 1911.
Cidade, H. Luís de Camões, vols. 1–3. Lisbon, 1952–56.
Nogueira, J. Os Lusíadas de Luís de Camóes. Rio de Janeiro, 1960.
Nogueira, J. Dicionário e gramática de “Os Lusíadas. “Rio de Janeiro, 1960.
Domingues, M. Camóes: A sua vida e a sua época. [Lisbon, 1968.]
Bismut, R. La lirique de Camóes. [Paris, 1970.]


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(12) Luis Vaz de Camoes is considered one of the greatest Portuguese poets.
In the process of attaining international recognition, Portuguese and Brazilian literatures continue to rely on the critical interest that writers such as Luis Vaz de Camoes, Machado de Assis, Mario de Andrade and Fernando Pessoa elicit from both an international and academic readership.
Afonso Henriques, Luis Vaz de Camoes ou a Rainha Nzinga Mbandi estao ali depositados a aguardar uma solucao, em "transito" (Souza, 34).
Esse mesmo tropo da animalizacao da mulher encontra-se sutilmente tratado, no canto IX de Os Lusiadas (1572), de Luis Vaz de Camoes, no conhecido episodio da Ilha dos Amores.
Nicolas Meihuizen se Ordering empire, waarin hy die representasie van die bemoeienis van empire in Suidelike Afrika ondersoek aan die hand van die werk van Luis Vaz de Camoes, Thomas Pringle en Roy Campbell, steun op hierdie beginsel van epistemiese periodisering.
Ana Hatherly compares the lives of Luis Vaz de Camoes and Fernao Mendes Pinto, in particular their experiences in Asia.
The Spanish poet, Garcilaso de la Vega (1501-1536), who was to have such a profound and lasting influence on Luis Vaz de Camoes, is a fascinating example of how a Renaissance poet dealt with the twin goals of imitatio and aemulatio, and how, in the process, he came to see the limitations of his art, especially notable in his Third Eclogue and its reworking of the Orpheus myth.
Luis Vaz de Camoes (1524-1580), the great Portuguese epic poet wrote in the tenth canto of "Os Lusiadas":
Luis Vaz de Camoes (1524?-1580), Portugal's preeminent poet and one of the "great epic poets of the grand Western tradition" (1), even if not as well known as other great figures of world literature, "has always had the respect of poets and scholars" (1).