The Travel of Sir John Mandeville Essay

July 16, 2021 by Essay Writer

Updated: Apr 16th, 2019

Mandeville’s travels can be regarded as a pastiche of facts taken from various sources because the author is unlikely to travel east and witness such incredible events. Despite the fact that the narration does not contain any information about the author, it still manages to convey the world reminding of the remarkable journeys of Christopher Columbus, Jonathan Swift, and Sir Thomas More.

The world represented by Mandeville personifies a thoughtful product where the author discovers himself as a tentative, skeptical, and curious person who presents strange and mysterious medieval world.

While retelling his stories, the author often conveys mysterious stories about the events that happened to the pilgrims. Specific attention requires journey from Cyprus to Jerusalem, a story in which the author focuses on the marvels happening on their way.

At the very beginning, the story starts with the story about Cyprus, a place where red vine becomes white after a year. Although such an example is both strange and attractive for the readers, the interpretation is still based on truthful facts.

With regard to the imaginary recollection of the travels, the author resorts to the magic realism as a literary style. Aside from miraculous things that happen to vines from Cyprus, Mandeville accounts on the creatures – “papyonns” – big dogs that men take with them for hunting.

The description of dogs goes beyond real frames because they are compared with lions, leopards, and wild beasts that can hardly remind of typical dogs. So, the animals on Cyprus have been represented as mysterious, even mythological creatures endowed with supernatural powers.

Apart from supernatural creatures, Mandeville’s view of Cyprus is closely associated with stereotypical view on Greek culture, where the main emphasis is placed on divine origins of everything that is created in this land. The description of cities is close to the description of divine kingdom.

This is of particular concern to the city of Famagost, the “principal haven” in which people from all nations arrive. The religious motifs are also presented in accounting on the city of Akon, near which the prophet Elijah lived. Although the story does not respond to the actual reality, the author manages to grasp the peculiarities of culture and traditions of the explored land.

In the author’s opinion, the religious marvels cannot be regarded as miracles; neither can natural powers be considered as surreal. In fact, such a description points to the testimonies that nature introduces to the power and grace of the divine will.

In general, Cyprus is described as a fabulous, beautiful Island with large cities and incredible nature. It is full of noteworthy places that are linked to saints and religious symbols. Delivering the information received during pilgrimage is important for understanding the perspective from which the author perceives alien cultures.

Despite the depiction of supernatural creatures, the author manages to render the accurate distance between cities. In such a manner, the book reflects the mixture of the author’s imagination and his factual knowledge on the Greek culture.

What is more important is that the proposed account does not provide a logical and consistent narration and precise guidance. Rather, the veritable intention lies in using the Book as an exciting journey across lands that differ from other culture. Absence of details proves that the author had never travelled to these places.




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