Don Quixote

Don QuixoteMiguel de Cervantes Saaverda1st ed. 1605Don Quixote, written around four hundred years ago, has endured the test of time to become one of the world’s finest examples of literature; one of the first true novels ever written. It’s uncommonness lies in the fact that it encompasses many different aspects of writing that spans the spectrum. From light-hearted, comical exchanges between Don Quixote and Sancho Panza to descriptions so strong that produce tangible images, the book remains steadfast in any reader’s mind.As apparent in the first chapter, the book’s main purpose was to combat the chivalric novels that had become so popular at the time of Cervantes.

Like the man who once called himself Alonso Quixano, many other men of 16th century Spain were becoming so engrossed in the unrealistic tales of knights and their romances that daily chores fell prey to another romance novel. It was Cervantes purpose to bring the meaning back into literature at the time, while providing thoughtful entertainment for readers. This proved to be fitting to the time in which Cervantes lived, for at the time he wrote Don Quixote, the golden age of Spain was declining, along with the arts that had long been celebrated in the country’s culture.

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The stories that this book combats are perfect examples of this decline, much like the dark ages of the 14th century. Don Quixote is considered a profound portraiture of two conflicting attitudes toward the world: idealism and realism. The work has been appreciated as a satire on unrealistic ideals, an expose of the tragedy and harm of idealism in a corrupt world, and a plea for a return to reality. Whatever its intended emphasis, the work presented to the world an unforgettable description of the transforming power of illusion, and it has had an indelible effect on the development of the European novel.The style in which Don Quixote is written not in standard novel format, but comes into a much more unique light.

The book begins with a preface, which, for Cervantes, proved to be the most difficult part of the book. Where Cervantes ‘bestowed some time in writing the book, yet it cost me not half so much labor as this very preface.’; This problem becomes a story within itself, where Cervantes asks a friend for help in writing the preface, describing the story within what he is actually writing. His argument is so convincing, Cervantes changes the format of his novel and writes it as little stories within a larger one.Although little is known about Cervantes’ youth, his fascination and study of literature began where in 1569 at age 22, he traveled to Italy and studies classic literature under the service of a cardinal. These studies proved to have influenced his works later in life. Other than this one year of study, Cervantes is not known to have any other direct study of writing. In 1570, Cervantes enlisted in the army where he suffered a wound to his left arm while in a naval battle.

The remainder of his life was spent as a slave and a prisoner, eventually being ransomed at a price that left him and his family penniless. After serving as a government purchasing agent until 1597, he began writing novels and poems until his death in 1616.Don Quixote is an intriguing book that provides a firsthand look at 16th Century Spain and its downfalls.

The novel serves as ‘constructive criticism’; in the way that it condones some parts of life, but shames others. It read quickly, always presenting different conflicts and stories, which kept my attention on the story. It was written in a pedestrian manner, not to sound like a children’s book, but rather so all could read and enjoy the story.

Don Quixote will continue to be an archetype for modern novels, as well as an intriguing look at 16th Century Spain for many centuries to come.

Don Quixote

Don Quixote Don Quixote is a fool in many respects. His speech is ridiculous, his ideas are hopelesslyout of date, and he has lost touch with reality. Yet readers admire him and know immediately he is the hero of the story. All the things which make him a fool, however unbelievable as it may be, add to his heroic appearance and lets the reader know where Quixote is coming from. Along with this, his foolish nature adds a sense of artlessness and purity, very heroic aspects.Don Quixote’s speech is ridiculous. In the play, Man of La Mancha, Quixote usesmindless speech. “It is easy to see, replied Don Quixote, that you are not used to this business of adventures.

Those are giants, and if you are afraid, away with you out of here and betake yourself to prayer, while I engage them in fierce and unequal combat.” (Page 888) He talks as if he is in the eighteenth century and says exactly what is on his mind. No matter what the idea he has is, it is always known by the people around him the moment he thinks it up. Don Quixote’s ideas are hopelessly out of date. For instance, he thinks that he is a knight.

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He rides around on a horse, and he wears armor. “Fortune, said Don Quixote to his squire, as soon as he had seen them, is arranging matters for us better than we could have hoped. Look there, friend Sancho Panza, where thirty or more monstrous giants rise up…” (Page 888) He thinks windmills are giants; as a result, he tries, and foolishly does so, to engage them in combat. Don Quixote has obviously lost touch with reality.

“What giants?’ said Sancho Panza. Those you see there,’ answered his master, with the long arms, and some have them nearly two leagues long.” Look, your worship,’ said Sancho. What we see there are not giants but windmills…” (Page 888) Not only does he think that windmills are giants, he refuses to believe the windmills to be anything but giants. Once his mind is set, no one can change it.

When he goes to fight the giants and gets “hit” by one, even though it probably feels like a hard piece of wood, he still believes that it is a giant.Cervantes does an excellent job of making Don Quixote look like a hero, even if his main character has ridiculous speech, hopelessly out-of-date ideas, and has lost touch with reality. These qualities help the reader understand where Don Quixote is coming from and it adds a sense of innocence that the reader can relate with. It is these qualities which make Quixote the easily recognized and admired hero the Man of La Mancha.Words/ Pages : 464 / 24

Don Quixote

Don Quixote Madman or Idealist? In my judgement, Don Quixote is and idealist. He lives in a time of Machiavellian beliefs and wants to escape these characteristics. He fantasizes about the way things used to be in the times of the knights, and the code of Chivalry, and wishes that he too could live in this time period.

Some may argue that he was a madman due to his attack on the windmills, but he just seems to suffer from a slight mental illness, which does not in turn qualify him as a madman. Don Quixada is a man of about fifty years old; he was born of nobility and therefore, could not get a job after his wealth was spent.At this age it did not seem that he had much of a future, the majority of his life was in the past, but he wanted to do something about this and somehow change the destiny of his future. He had a great interest in medieval times; he spent a lot of time reading about the knights and codes of chivalry. He wanted himself to be a noble knight, to ride out on his horse with his trusty sidekick and to be a hero.

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So he decided, being the idealist he was, that he could accomplish these things even though he now lived in the Renaissance time. Idealists dream, and then turn their dreams into a reality, which is what Don Quixada did when he transformed himself into Don Quixote. He knew the things he needed to make his dream come true.

He needed a horse, a trusty sidekick, and a woman to love.He attained all these items, but they were not quite up to par. He renamed everyone on his journey, to make them all seem a little more dream worthy. His horse was renamed Rozinante, the name spruced up the old dilapidated horse.

His sidekick, Sancho Panza, was merely after wealth and land in this journey, and was attempting to desert his wife and children. His love interest, Aldunza renamed Dolcinea, was not your typical high class sophisticated woman, she was a rough country girl.It took a great deal of imagination on Don Quixotes part to turn these aspects into his fantasy. Don Quixote and Sancho Panza set out on their adventure very late one night, so that no one would notice them leaving. The next day they arrived at a point where they could see thirty or forty windmills.

Don Quixote imagined them as being giants, and attacked them. He did this out pure wit and excitement, not out of lunacy and derangement.He all along knew that they were not really giants, but thought that it would be fun to be in some sort of battle. In my opinion, Don Quixote is an idealist, not a madman.

He simply dreams of a different life for himself, rather than facing his fate that is thus far set out for him. Being an idealist, he turns his dream into a reality, suits up in his armor and heads out on his horse into the sunset.

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