Christopher Columbus: Heroic Or Hero?

Powerful Essays
“In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. He had three ships and left from Spain; He sailed through sunshine, wind, and rain. He sailed by night; he sailed by day; He used the stars to find his way” In 1492 by Jean Marzollo. It is a poem that many of us know. Or at least we know the first line. For over 80 years we have glorified, heroized, and celebrated Christopher Columbus for accomplishments that he never accomplished. While at the same time we have forgotten the things that he actually did do, some of which were not very heroic nor ethical. So why, on every second Monday in October, do we miss school and work just to remember a man who wasn’t who we think he was? The answer is simple, we shouldn’t be. So let's all board the Boat of Answers, then hoist our Flag of Truth, and finally set sail to find out who the real Christopher Columbus was.…show more content…
Author Ian W. Toll puts it in a quite interesting way in his book review of Laurence Bergreen’s The Four Voyages:
“Christopher Columbus, rediscoverer of America, was a visionary explorer. He was a harbinger of genocide. He was a Christianizing messiah. He was a pitiless slave master. He was a lionhearted seaman, a rapacious plunderer, a masterly navigator, a Janus-faced schemer, a liberator of oppressed tribes, a delusional megalomaniac. In “Columbus,” by Laurence Bergreen, the author of several biographies, allows scope for all these judgments. But Christopher Columbus was in the first place a terribly interesting man — brilliant, audacious, volatile, paranoid, narcissistic, ruthless, and (in the end) deeply unhappy” (Toll). So as it turns out our noble adventurer wasn’t actually that noble. The one thing that Ian W. Toll did not mention is that Columbus was also a fraud. Let us now move on to the next job of hoisting the Flag of
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