Essay: The Boat Plays by Gil Vicente
Gil Vicente wrote The Boat Plays in the 16th century in the Portuguese language and they were later translated by David Johnston to English. The boat to hell is about people from all lifestyles who have recently died. They arrive to find two boats anchored on the shores of the Tagus-like River. (Vicente & Johnston, 16) The devil and his men command one of the boats while an angel captains the other. Though the devils boat is decorated to look very beautiful the devil is telling those, who want to board it that it is going to “Lost Damned Isle”. (Vicente & Johnston 17)
It is through the devil that we learn that people can easily be convinced to opt for the wrong decisions. As the people approach, the devil is telling them to “All aboard, all aboard We have a good tide” because he knows that the peoples’ minds are weak and thus they can be easily convinced. (Vicente & Johnston 22) The beauty of the devil draws the attention of a nobleman, who goes to the devil to enquire about the destination of his boat. The nobleman is not impressed upon learning that the boat is going to such a miserable place he decides to seek the services of the other boat that is heading to the paradise. The devil takes the advantage of the fact that the angel is not calling passengers unto his boat to convince four knights and the Fool Joane to board his boat.