Álvares de Azevedo

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This article is about the Brazilian poet. For the nobleman, see Manuel Antônio Álvares de Azevedo, Baron of Itapacorá.
Álvares de Azevedo
Álvares de Azevedo.jpg
A picture of Azevedo taken during the late 1840s
Born Manuel Antônio Álvares de Azevedo
(1831-09-12)12 September 1831
São Paulo, Brazil
Died 25 April 1852(1852-04-25) (aged 20)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Resting place
Cemitério São João Batista, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Nationality Brazilian
Other names Job Stern, Maneco
Alma mater Faculdade de Direito da Universidade de São Paulo
Occupation Poet, playwright, short story writer, essayist, Law student
Notable work(s) Lira dos Vinte Anos, Noite na Taverna, Macário
Parents Inácio Manuel Álvares de Azevedo
Maria Luísa Mota Azevedo

Manuel Antônio Álvares de Azevedo (September 12, 1831 – April 25, 1852), affectionately called "Maneco" by his close friends, relatives and admirers, was a Brazilian Romantic poet, short story writer, playwright and essayist. Adept of what was called in Brazil "Ultra-Romanticism", his work is heavily influenced by Lord Byron, Alfred de Musset, François-René de Chateaubriand and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and is characterized by heavy dualism and morbidity, what gave him the epithet of "the Brazilian Lord Byron".

He is the patron of the second chair of the Brazilian Academy of Letters, and of the ninth chair of the Paulista Academy of Letters.


Azevedo was born into a wealthy family in São Paulo City, on September 12, 1831. Son of Law student Inácio Manuel Álvares de Azevedo and Maria Luísa Azevedo (née Mota), a popular legend says that he was born in the library of the Faculdade de Direito da Universidade de São Paulo, but he was actually born on the house of his maternal grandfather, Severo Mota. He also had a younger brother, Inácio Manuel, Jr., but he died prematurely in 1835. The death proved to be an early source of shock for the young Álvares.

In 1833, Álvares moved with his family to Rio de Janeiro, and in 1840 he enrolled at the Colégio Stoll, in the bairro of Botafogo, being an excellent student.[1] In 1844, he temporarily returned to São Paulo with his uncle, going back to Rio in the following year, where he enrolled at the Colégio Pedro II.

Having graduated in 1846 from the Colégio Pedro II, he was admitted to the Faculdade de Direito da Universidade de São Paulo in the following year, where he befriended the poets José Bonifácio the Younger (the grandnephew of famous Brazilian statesman José Bonifácio de Andrada), Aureliano Lessa and Bernardo Guimarães. Alongside these poets, he founded the mythical "Sociedade Epicureia" ("Epicurean Society"), a club heavily based upon Epicurean and bohemian ideals, and also planned a work in conjunction with Lessa and Guimarães, the poetry book As Três Liras (in English: The Three Lyres).[2] However, the As Três Liras project did not come to fruition; the only surviving part of it today is the book Lira dos Vinte Anos, published one year after Azevedo's death, in 1853. He also founded in 1849 the official magazine of the Sociedade Ensaio Filosófico Paulistano, which lasted until 1856.

Because of his fragile health and the murky weather of São Paulo, Azevedo contracted tuberculosis. He then had to abandon his Law course, and moved to his grandfather's farm in Rio, where the weather was warmer, in order to mitigate his disease; there he fell from a horse and fractured his iliac fossa, what resulted in his death at 20 on April 25, 1852.[3] He was buried one day later at the Cemitério São João Batista. His last words before his death were reported to be "Que fatalidade, meu pai!" ("What a fatality, my father!").


Due to his premature death, all of Álvares' works were published posthumously.

Álvares also wrote many letters and essays, and translated into Portuguese Lord Byron's poem "Parisina" and William Shakespeare's Othello '​s fifth act. He also wrote a novel, O Livro de Fra. Gondicário; however, the only extant parts of it today are two fragments of its third chapter.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ UOL Educação. "Álvares de Azevedo". Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "Álvares de Azevedo – O poeta ultrarromântico". Mundo Educação. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  3. ^ Enciclopédia Itaú Cultural. "Azevedo, Álvares de (1831–1852)". Retrieved 27 March 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

  • ALVES, Maria C. R. O Poeta-Leitor: Um Estudo das Epígrafes Hugoanas em Álvares de Azevedo. USP, 1999.
  • CUNHA, Cilaine Alves. O Belo e o Disforme. EDUSP, 2000.
  • CUNHA, Cilaine Alves. Entusiasmo Indianista e Ironia Byroniana. EDUSP, 2000.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
New creation
Brazilian Academy of Letters - Patron of the 2nd chair
Succeeded by
Coelho Neto (founder)