Idealism in Don Quixote
!.?. !? Nalani Kikuyama Ms. Haina English 12 4 April 2013 Battling Giants In the book Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes, the eponymous lead character, Don Quixote, describes his factor for becoming a knight in the 16th century, saying “as time went on and wickedness increased, the order of knight-errantry was instituted to safeguard maidens, to safeguard widows, and to rescue orphans and distressed individuals” (Cervantes 52). In the book, Quixote, moved by books of chivalry, wears his grandpa’s rusty knight armor and sallies on an adventure in Spain with his squire, Sancho Panza.
Throughout Spain, Quixote and Panza meet characters that prevent, help, and challenge the idea of chivalry in a contemporary world. Quixote represents idealism by ending up being a knight-errant when chivalry is considered an out-of-date moral code. Commentary by Cervantes is both biting and caring, however ultimately a criticism of idealism. Quixotism, a word originated from Don Quixote, is defined as the unwise pursuit of suitables. Quixote was when a gentleman from La Mancha, but books of chivalry have damaged his mind, making him briefly mad.
In the book Don Quixote, Quixote’s misadventures are described in detail. One of the very first signs of the depth of Quixote’s insanity is his effort to combat a field of windmills he errors for giants, stating, “Do you see over yonder my good friend Sancho Panza, thirty or more substantial giants?” (Cervantes 36). What occurs is a cartoonish, slapstick-ish battle where Quixote is knocked to the ground by a windmill’s turning sails, injured, and nearly eliminated.
In this scene and lots of scenes after this, Cervantes not only suggests that idealism has the capability to make one appearance foolish, but that it is powerful enough to physically injure. How Cervantes contrasts Quixote’s idealism may appear amusing to readers, as it can be found in the kind of the squire Sancho Panza. Panza is an easy male, whose modest intelligence just highlights the truth Quixote gravely distorts. Many misadventures and complaints might have been avoided if Quixote had actually listened to Panza’s guidance.
After the duo’s adventuring seemed to have actually come to a conclusion in Part One, Quixote and Panza are spurred back into action when they become aware of the false accounts of their adventures. Soon, Quixote and Panza satisfy a duke and duchess. The Duke and Duchess exploit and demean the oblivious Quixote and Panza. The embarrassment Quixote and Panza face in Part 2 comprises the bulk of the story. While Part One plainly condemns idealism, Sequel nearly pities it, working as the inverse of Cervantes’s original intent.
Cervantes’s personal experience as a broke and jailed guy after his service in the Spanish army, and an unhappy Christian during the Spanish Inquisition, made him a bitter and jaded guy. These experiences affected and influenced his messages in Don Quixote. So simply what is Cervantes attempting to state about idealism and realism? That it is dangerous, frequently frustrating, however admirable. Idealism will not and possibly can not flourish in the presence of an ever-oppressive society. Chivalric romances are things of the past and are best left in the past.
Even if realism is much better and much more secure, the death of Quixote’s idealism is one loaded with sorrow. When the sanity of Don Quixote returns and he goes back into the gentleman Alonso Quixano, readers can not help however feel a specific grief for his crushed spirit. It appears Cervantes had clashing feelings over idealism and realism. In the beginning, Don Quixote is clearly a criticism of chivalric romantic literature. Nevertheless, at the end of Don Quixote, Cervantes appears to grieve the death of Quixote’s idealism.
In Samson Carrasco’s epitaph for Quixote, he writes that Quixote “had the fortune in his age to live a fool and pass away a sage” (Cervantes 527). This quote insinuates that Cervantes preferred Quixote’s sane death over his quick but crazy adventure. No matter Cervantes’s intention, lots of readers appear to view Don Quixote as an event of idealism. Rather of denouncing the messages of chivalric romanticism, readers are influenced by Don Quixote to fight giants, battle armies, and dream the impossible dream. Works Cited XCervantes, Miguel. Don Quixote. Trans. Walter Starkie. New York: New American Library, 2003. Print.