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Marco Polo essay : good or bad source

             Marco Polo "The Travels" is in fact, a biography written by his cellmate Rustichello as Polo spoke about his experiences; therefore, I feel the book is not a good primary source. Today historians suspect that Rustichello may have added some exaggeration that Polo never expressed. However, Polo himself describes his experiences to Rustichello with lots of detail giving his readers an excellent idea of what life must have been like during his time. By describing many of the people, places, and animals, that he has seen, the book further encourages the audience to continue reading the book because they are interested in where Marco Polo will go and what kind of new discoveries he will encounter next. .
             I feel that of the many people Polo encountered; the ones he admired the most was the Chinese Women. Marco Polo respects the women and admires their behavior. "They do not keep watch at the windows gazing at passers-by or exposing themselves to their gaze If it happens that they go out to some respectable place, as for instance to the temples of their idols or to visit the houses of relatives, they walk in the company of their mothers" (196). Chinese women also do not speak in front of their elders to prove their respect for them. Polo likes these women because unlike the women he is use to, the Chinese women respect themselves and others. .
             In Polo's travels, he talks about many different animals, these animals do not make any sense to people today because we know they do not exist; however, I do understand that Marco Polo is telling what he honestly thought at the time about these species. He tells his audience about his sighting of a "unicorn", which in fact what we know as a rhinoceros. He writes, "They have wild elephants and plenty of unicorns, which are scarcely smaller than elephants. They have the hair of a buffalo and feet like an elephant. They have a single large, black horn in the middle of the forehead"(253).

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