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El capitán Alatriste
Capítulo 4: La emboscada

En España, hoy es martes el 18 de diciembre de 2018.
«No era el hombre más honesto ni el más piadoso, pero era un hombre valiente.»

Capítulo Cuatro: pp. 67-79


In the first part of the chapter, we find Alatriste and his Italian co-conspirator awaiting the two unknown Englishmen in a dark street. To pass the time, Alatriste thinks back on his life as an espadachín, attempting to count the number of men he has killed. Though it is quite a number, he believes they have all been honorable encounters because he has always insisted on never attacking an unarmed or unprepared adversary.

In the second half of the chapter, the Englishmen arrive and are attacked as per the plans, however, Alatriste is taken aback by the odd behavior of the specific Englishman he is to dispatch. Realizing that nothing is what it seems to be, he intercedes in the attack of the Italian, who seems to be enjoying his work, and puts an end to the assault.

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Antes de leer

  1. As you read this chapter, we will witness Alatriste remember the men he has killed. What does this tell us about the period of time in which the novel takes place and the relative value of honor vs. life?
  2. Alatriste rarely discusses “killing”, but rather uses a number of euphemisms for the act of taking someone’s life. Make a note of some of these as you read.

Escuchar el texto

La primera parte (pp. 67-73)
La segunda parte (pp. 73-79)


Después de leer

  1. What do you know about the roll of the Catholic Church at this point in Spanish history?
  2. What do you think is Alatriste’s opinion of non-catholics? Can you cite evidence from the text?
  3. How many different ways of referring to a sword have you seen? Why do you think that there are so many synonyms for this item?
  4. Now that you have read the chapter and completed the reading guides for each section, please write 2-3 sentences in Spanish which summarizes the chapter. Try to avoid the temptation to refer back to the text while you write so that your description is entirely your own words.

Preguntas de comprensión

Primera Parte

  1. Describe el lugar de la emboscada de los ingleses.
  2. ¿Cómo sabían Alatriste y su compañero la ruta de los ingleses?
  3. ¿Cómo pasa Alatriste el tiempo hasta la llegada de los ingleses?
  4. Según sus cálculos, ¿cuántos hombres ha matado Alatriste?

Segunda Parte

  1. ¿A qué hora empezó la emboscada? ¿Cómo lo sabemos?
  2. ¿Qué hizo uno de los ingleses que le causó dudas en Alatriste?
  3. Describe a los ingleses. ¿Cómo se visten? ¿Cómo son?

Ir a: Página principal ↩ | Capítulos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | Epílogo