Thursday, November 19, 2009

Last Chapters of Leo

In the last chapters of Leo Africanus, Leo finds himself married and with child again with a woman named Maddalena. She was from the nunnery but pleaded to get out to the Cardinal which he granted her wishes. During these chapters the Pope passes away which gives rise to a new Pope, Pope Adrian. This new Pope was very against art and sculpture, and demanded that all men be clean shaven. Many people were against the new moves including Hasan, and there were a lot of resistance to the new Pope. His old wife, Nur, writes him about his son which brings tears to Hasan’s eyes. He is caught with a pamphlet that is against the Pope so he is imprisoned. The Pope is then poisoned and dies, and the Cardinal that allowed Maddalena out of the nunnery became the new Pope, Pope Clement. There is conflict between the Turks and France, and Hasan finds a safe haven for his family with a friend. At the end there are plans for Hasan and his family to return back to Tunis.

One thing that I found interesting in these chapters was Pope Adrian’s taste about art. He viewed as a challenge to the creator, creator being God. He views art as blasphemy, because art and sculpting was created for the replica of humans, and he thought that should not be a human’s job. The top of the Sistine Chapel for Adrian was too much to bear. He thought that the naked bodies were against everything the church should stand for. It is interesting for me to think about what would have happened if someone did not poison him and he stayed in power. Would the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel still exist?

Another issue that I have found in whole book is the marriages of Hasan and children he has with these marriages. At the end when Nur writes to him, and he is married to Maddalena, that he is brought to tears. I am surprised that he did not pine for her if he was that in love with her to cry.

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