Friday, November 13, 2009

Leo Africanus pt. III

In this section of the reading we follow Hasan as he is pulled this way and that by forces largely outside his control. He attempts to do the right thing by standing up for his brother-in-law who is accused of murdering the man to whom his sister had been betrothed. Because of Hasan's previously public dislike for the murdered individual and his obvious bias towards the side of his brother-in-law, Hasan is seen as a suspect and consequentiality exiled. He tries to take slight control of his situation by attempting to honor his family name by leaving in style and throwing gold coins as he makes is procession out of town. He is accompanied by his slave girl and a gaggle of guards. Again he is set back by a storm that keeps him seculded in a cave with Hibin where the situation takes a turn for the better and he realizes that he is in love with her. To protect her he returns her to her family as he continues his travels.
The rest of the section includes more examples of Hasan attempting to do the right thing for other people but is thwarted by some other force. His efforts to warn Cairo of an impending invasion by a Turkish sultan go largely unheeded and the city is toppled anyways. As we have seen before, any moment of joy for Hasan is closely linked to that of sorrow or conflict. He finds a new wife and adopts her son as his own just as the situation of the sultan's invasion unfolds. After a stint in Mecca he ends up in Rome where he is baptized, given a new name(Leo Africanus) and taught of a new religion.
I found it interesting that one man can cover so much area through his travels. Hasan is everywhere. Whether he likes it or not, his experiences are forcing him to become a man of the world. What I did not fully understand was why Hasan was exiled so easily but sent out of town with a group of guards. In my mind, if you exiled someone in this time you would simply boot him out of your territory and not care what happens to him next.

1 comment:

  1. I could be wrong but I thought he paid off the guards. Not sure though.