Ant√īnio Frederico de Castro
Alves (March 14, 1847 ‚Äď July 6, 1871), more commonly known
as Castro Alves ( ), was a Brazilian poet best remembered for his
abolitionist and republican poems, and is considered one of the
most important Brazilian poets of the 19th century.
born in the town of Cachoeira, Bahia, Brazil.
1862, he entered the Faculdade de Direito do
, was involved in an affair with Portuguese actress
his first abolitionist poems: "Os Escravos" (The Slaves
and "A Cachoeira de Paulo Afonso" (Paulo Afonso's
), reading them out loud in public events in defense
of the abolitionist cause. Even though many Brazilians stood up
against it at that time, slavery
was not officially ended until 1888, when Princess Isabel
daughter of Dom Pedro II
, declared it
extinct by means of the Lei √Āurea
Alves left Recife and returned
Bahia, where he wrote his dramatic play "Gonzaga".
moved to Rio de
Janeiro, where he met influential people such as Jos√© de Alencar, Francisco Otaviano and Machado de Assis, from whom he got moral
headed south to S√£o
Paulo to take courses at Sao Francisco
While there he met important writers and
politicians, such as Rui Barbosa
, Rodrigues Alves
, Afonso Pena
. On November 11, 1868, while hunting in the surroundings
of S√£o Paulo, he was shot in the left ankle, which led to the
amputation of his feet. Soon afterwards Alves contracted tuberculosis
, a very common disease in S√£o
Paulo at that time due to the dark and untidy pubs around town and
chilly weather, which forced him to return to his home land, Bahia.
He died on
July 6, 1871, in the city of Salvador.
Alves's work stands in the late-Romantic aesthetic and is deeply
influenced by the work of the French poet Victor Hugo
in a movement called
, which is marked by the introspection of the
Romantic period with a social and humanitarian concern. These
concerns led him to the incipient Abolitionism and Republicanism,
of whose causes he was one of the foremost representatives.
His poetry is more optimistic in tone than early romantic poets,
and is marked by more sensual and physical images than is usual to
the Romantic Aesthetic. He was not attached to the (sometimes
official) indigenism shown by Jos√© de Alencar or Gon√ßalves Dias
, nor had the
mal-du-si√®cle aesthetic of √Ālvares de Azevedo
. As a result of
this, his work is usually considered to be late-romantic, tending
to the later Realist movement.
Among his best known works are: "Espumas Flutuantes" (Floating
), "Gonzaga ou A Revolu√ß√£o de Minas" (Gonzaga or the
Revolution of Minas
), "Cachoeira de Paulo Afonso", "Vozes
D'√Āfrica" (Voices from Africa
), "O Navio Negreiro"
(The Slave Ship
References and notes