The Broken Spears
“The Broken Spears” is a collection of many accounts of the destruction of Mexico by Cortes and the conquistadors in their invasion. The motive behind this conquest was Cortes’ desire to bring a fortune of gold, spices, and land that can be claimed, back to Spain. Although these desires were admirable, they were sought after at the expense of the Aztecs and consequently changed an entire civilization, due to an initial drive for power, control, land, and money. Cortez along with the Spaniards ultimately destroys the Aztecs in their quest for fortune and fame. The accounts are based on the Aztec’s perception of the invasion and include the revolt of the Aztec people that lead to the terror and the end of the Aztec civilization. The Spaniards first entrance into Tenochtitlan
The novel begins with the description of a series of omens or premonitions, observed ten years prior, that was believed to be essential warnings of the coming invasion. The omens arouse many fearful and terrifying reactions. At the time, the meanings were unclear to the Natives. According to the text, “Montezuma consulted various seers and magicians to learn whether the omens meant an approaching war or some other crisis”, however the magicians could not advise him. Not soon after, according to the second chapter, there were reports that “the mountains bore a strange people who have very light skin. They all have long beards, and their hair comes only to their ears." After much contemplation, Montezuma sent five messengers to greet the strangers and to bring them gifts believing that they might be Quetzalcoatl (God of learning and the wind) and other divinities returning to Mexico as they promised. (2:13)Montezuma gave specific instructions as to how to present the messengers and gifts to the strangers.
The natives showed reverence to the strangers at their arrival by “touching the ground before him with their lips”. (25)...
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