Discussion Bernal Díaz del Castillo



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Discussion Bernal Díaz del Castillo
Page 172

Bernal Díaz has arrived to the city of the Mexica (Aztecs) known as Tenochtitlan or Mexico. He is describing in page 172 when Hernando Cortes and his men and allies entered the city.


What are the first impressions that Díaz del Castillo has when he sees Iztapalapa (Part of the city of Tenochtitlan)
How does he describe the orchard?

What does he say about the canoes and about the buildings in the orchard?


What does he say about the birds?
Why do we have a nostalgic tone at the end of the paragraph? What is what Díaz del Castillo remarks?
Page 173
How wide is the Causeway?
Why are people looking at the Spaniards according to Díaz del Castillo?
What did the other indigenous people warned the Spaniards about the Mexicas (Aztecs)?
Of over what Díaz del Castillo ponders after he says that there were only 400 soldiers?
Page 174
Explain how Díaz del Castillo describes Montezuma and his arrival to encounter Cortes.
How do people treat Montezuma?
What does Cortes do when Montezuma arrives?
How does Cortes salute Montezuma?
What kind of gifts they give each other?
Page 175
Why did the great Princes who were with Montezuma do not allow Cortes to embrace him?
What did Cortes told Montezuma? Who was his interpreter?

Where does Montezuma host the Spaniards?


Page 176
What does Montezuma keeps in the secret chambers given to him by his father Axayaca?
What other gift does Montezuma give Cortes?
Why do you think that Montezuma addresses Cortes as “Malinche”?
Page 187
How does Montezuma looks like? Describe him
Page 188
Is Montezuma married? To Whom?

How many chieftains Montezuma has and how do they behave in his presence?


What kind of meals Montezuma eats?

Page 189
Díaz del Castillo is very cautious to say “I have hear” when he has not been eye witness of the facts. What is what Díaz del Castillo has heard about Montezuma?


What kind of meat does Montezuma and his people eat?
What has happened since Cortes arrived to Mexico according to Díaz del Castillo?
How were the meals served to Montezuma and by whom?
Page 190
Who were present at the meals?
Do you think that the way Díaz del Castillo interprets the presence of humpbacks as jesters and buffoons is a misunderstanding since that was the role of those individual in the courts in Europe?
Do you think that Díaz del Castillo exaggerates when he says that the Mexicas prepared 1000 dishes, “two thousand jugs of cacao an a limitless quantity of fruit”?
Page 191

What do the Mexicans have “abundance of”?


What other items of food are described?
What was the job that the cacique named “Tapia” carried out?
What kind of house Montezuma had?
Page 192
How does Díaz del Castillo describe the Mexica’s weapons?
How was the Aviary? Describe the birds, how many kinds?
Page 193
In the second and third paragraphs in this page, the tone changes; explain why. Pay attentions to the words, phrases, symbols, etc. Give examples.
Explain how suddenly, the narrative changes again in the middle of the third paragraph. What kinds of practices Díaz del Castillo describes?

Page 194 and beginning of 195


What is the job of the so-called “nuns” by Díaz del Castillo?
What kind of entertainment the Mexica had in their city?
Who are the workmen?
How does he describe the “gardens of flowers” and the baths?
What other wonders he describes? Make a list
At the end of the paragraph, do you think that Díaz del Castillo shows appreciation and admiration for the Mexica culture? Why?
With the description that Díaz del Castillo gives us, can you tell if the Mexica culture was a sustainable culture?
What are major differences in the description of the Mexicas of Díaz del Castillo and that of Columbus’ and Vespucci’s? How the descriptions of the resources in Mexico City by Díaz del Castillo differ or compare to those of Columbus’ and Vespucci’s, Explain


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