Analysis Of Aguirre : The Wrath Of God

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Violence in Aguirre The purpose of Spanish conquests during the 1500s was to spread Christianity to indigenous peoples. In the movie, Aguirre: The Wrath of God, Lope De Aguirre travels the jungles and mountains of the Incan Empire on a treacherous conquest will an ulterior motive of finding the illustrious legend of “El Dorado,” a kingdom “…where gold was said to be so plentiful that it was thrown into a sacred lake in an annual ritual” (Primary Source, 4). Aguirre, in an attempt for power, overthrows the leader of the expedition, Pedro De Ursua. With little regard to the indigenous people of the conquest, Aguirre ruthlessly strives toward the general purpose of his conquest: gaining power and finding “El Dorado.” In Aguirre: The Wrath…show more content…
Herzog, in the film, demonstrates the true of purpose of Spanish conquests was not to spread Christianity, but to gain power in the name of Christianity. Aguirre’s killing of the conquest’s leader, Pedro De Ursua, establishes Herzog’s point of view of a conquistador’s power through violence. In the film, Herzog associates his understanding of Aguirre’s purpose, “in which the expedition of Pedro De Ursua “… would have damped the ardor of the searchers after “El Dorado” (Primary Source, I). Herzog depicts Aguirre’s killing of Ursua as an act of gaining power, as no one oppose Aguirre’s leadership of the conquest in fear of death. Ursua, as elected leader of the conquest, desires to accomplish the wishes of King Philip II of Spain. With Ursua pursuing the wishes of the king, Aguirre is not able to pursue his advancement towards “El Dorado.” In order to gain control and pursue his purpose of the conquest, Aguirre, by hanging and shooting, rids the conquest of Ursua and any of Ursua’s followers that would oppose Aguirre’s leadership. Aguirre, with no respect for the king, acquires the nickname of “Aguirre, the traitor,” in which he holds with great pride. Aguirre, power hungry, overthrows the King of Spain with little opposition, due to his violent, malicious manner of killing Ursua. Without the use

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