Biography of Author – Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janiero in 1947 and before his career as a best-selling author, he was a playwright, theatre director, hippie, and popular songwriter for some of Brazil’s leading pop artists. In 1986 he took a pilgrimage along that Road of Santiago and this would be the center of the plot of the book, The Pilgrimage, which was published in 1987. His second book was named The Alchemist Essay and was published in 1988.
This book has gone to number one in 29 countries and Coelho has been regarded as the most widely read contemporary writers. The Alchemist was one of the top ten international best sellers of 1998.
His work has been published in more than 100 countries and is translated into 42 different languages. He has been awarded a variety of prestigious awards from many different countries. He today lives in South America with his family.
The Shepherd – This was the boy through whose eyes the story was told. He followed his personal legend to the fullest and never let up with his dream. He went all over the land and was able to realize the treasure that he had been so close to in the beginning of the novel.
The King – He was the one that gave the shepherd the two stones that would supposedly help him whenever he had a rough time deciding about what to do. He made the boy give him ten percent of his flock, because you should never promise something that you don’t have.
The Englishmen – This was the man that the boy met on his trip to the pyramids. He was the one who turned the boy onto the idea of the alchemist and the masterwork. Before this he had never known of the alchemist and the great things that he could do in the world.
The Alchemist – This is the man that he met in the desert and he helped the shepherd to lead the people from the danger that was imminent from the war.
He also allowed the boy to follow his legend and realize his dream.
Summary – The story begins when the shepherd boy stopped for the night in a church with a sycamore tree growing out of the middle. He told of the easy going life of the shepherd and how his parents had wanted to become a priest. He had attended all of the schooling, but had decided against it at the last minute. He had wanted to see the world and he felt that the best way to do this was to go and become a shepherd. He said that the life of a shepherd is easy and carefree and he felt like that this was the way that he wanted to spend his life.
He was anticipating seeing the daughter of a man who would buy the wool from his sheep when he arrived in the town that he would come to in another couple of days. He thought that he might actually settle down and get married to this girl if she would like to. He had been having a recurring dream about him at the pyramids in Egypt. There he would be able to find all of the treasure in the world and to realize what would come to be called his personal legend. So, the next town that he went to he went to a fortuneteller and asked her if she could help him out of his dilemma. She was unclear about what to do, but she made him promise to give him a percentage of his treasure if he ever found it.
When he left the fortuneteller, he went and sat in the park where he would have been content to read his new book.
He was not in a good mood for talking with others when the old king approached him and tried to strike up a conversation with him. He told the boy that everyone has a personal legend that he has to fulfill at some time in his life. He tells him that his could be found at the pyramids because of the dreams that he has been .