Robinson Crusoe

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The Spanish Prisoner Character Analysis

Robinson saves this man from being eaten by some cannibals on his island. He identifies himself to Robinson as "Christianus," which could be Latin for his name (Christian, or Christiano) or could simply identify him as a Christian. The prisoner tells Robinson that he was shipwrecked near his island and that he and some of his comrades made it safely to Friday's people. Robinson sends him with Friday's father to bring the rest of the Spaniards back to his island, so that they can escape together. However, Robinson ends up leaving before they return, so the Spaniards establish a colony on the island.

The Spanish Prisoner Quotes in Robinson Crusoe

The Robinson Crusoe quotes below are all either spoken by The Spanish Prisoner or refer to The Spanish Prisoner. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Christianity and Divine Providence Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of Robinson Crusoe published in 2003.
Chapter 22 Quotes

My island was now peopled, and I thought myself very rich in subjects; and it was a merry reflection, which I frequently made, how like a king I looked. First of all, the whole country was my own property, so that I had an undoubted right of dominion. Secondly, my people were perfectly subjected - I was absolutely lord and lawgiver - they all owed their lives to me, and were ready to lay down their lives, if there had been occasion for it, for me. It was remarkable, too, I had but three subjects, and they were of three different religions - my man Friday was a Protestant, his father was a Pagan and a cannibal, and the Spaniard was a Papist. However, I allowed liberty of conscience throughout my dominions.

Related Characters: Robinson Crusoe (speaker), Friday, Friday's Father, The Spanish Prisoner
Page Number: 190
Explanation and Analysis:

After having begun his time on the island entirely alone, Robinson now has a relatively thriving community around him. The irony is that he has spent much of the book learning to embrace his isolated existence on the island, even claiming its superiority to the temptations of society. But rather than attempt to create another kind of society once he has assembled a group of people around him, Robinson seems to recreate a social hierarchy, making himself the king and the others his subjects.

Robinson does consider himself relatively more enlightened than European monarchs, since he allows freedom of religion in his "kingdom" - not something that was historically common at the time. He thus shows more openness towards different peoples and customs than might be expected for an Englishman of his time and place. At the same time, however, Robinson has hardly let go of the cultural and social assumptions with which he began his stay on the island.


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The Spanish Prisoner Character Timeline in Robinson Crusoe

The timeline below shows where the character The Spanish Prisoner appears in Robinson Crusoe. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 22
Christianity and Divine Providence Theme Icon
Robinson saw that the savages were about to kill their European prisoner, so he and Friday shot at them, killing several, wounding others, and terrifying all the... (full context)
Strangers, Savages, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Robinson gave the prisoner, who turned out to be Spanish, a sword and pistol. Together with Friday, they fought... (full context)
Christianity and Divine Providence Theme Icon
When Friday saw the prisoner and spoke to him, he literally jumped for joy, laughed, and cried. He told Robinson... (full context)
Society, Individuality, and Isolation Theme Icon
Friday took care of both the prisoners and moved the Spaniard to the boat where Friday's father was. He got in the... (full context)
Strangers, Savages, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Robinson learned from the Spaniard that he had been aboard a Spanish ship with some Portuguese sailors that had wrecked.... (full context)
Society, Individuality, and Isolation Theme Icon
Strangers, Savages, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Robinson asked the Spaniard how he and his sailors might respond to a proposal of escaping with him. He... (full context)
Society, Individuality, and Isolation Theme Icon
Contentment vs. Desire and Ambition Theme Icon
Robinson planned to send Friday's father and the Spaniard back to the their people so that the rest of the Europeans could come back... (full context)
Society, Individuality, and Isolation Theme Icon
...use to construct a boat. After the next harvest, he sent Friday's father and the Spaniard on their journey. As best as Robinson could reckon, they left some time in October. (full context)