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The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World

The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World

by Gabriel García Márquez

Analysis: Allusions

When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Historical and Mythological References

  • Estevanico (implicitly, by the name "Esteban" given to the drowned man)
  • Lautaro (6) – Lautaro was military figure in the Arauco War, a conflict in the mid 1500s between colonizing Spaniards and the natives of what is now Chile. He was a leader of a native Mapuche people.
  • Sir Walter Raleigh (11) – an English explorer in the late 1500s.
  • Odysseus and the Sirens (implicitly) (12) – Greek mythical figures seen in Homer's Odyssey. The sirens were mythical creatures, half-woman and half-bird, who sang in beautiful voices to lure sailors off their course to a rocky death. Odysseus, the hero of Homer's tale, famously tied himself to the mast as his ship sailed past the island of the sirens (while the rest of his men were forced to plug up their ears), thus becoming the only mortal man to have ever heard the sirens and lived to tell the tale.

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