Don Quijote Essay

And now a fundamental difference sets in, marking off this character from others. As he willed, modelled, developed them, so they live—or die. The evolution of the hero is explicit in the poet’s mind or at least in the action’s threshold.But for the analogue to Don Quixote we must go to biology, rather than to art. It is organically hers, and so for a brief time remains.

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His fellow Spaniards, sick like himself of gestures and heroics, will roar along—will pay for the book—will put money in the purse of a hungry scribbler.

This Don Quixote, child of Cervantes, is the subject of the early chapters.

” The reader will be aware of a curious shift in this Don Quixote’s madness: a note of self-conscious irony, not usually found in the insane upon the point of their mania.

However, this strange madman to whom Cervantes introduces us seems at first consistently the creation of his author. He loses teeth as his molested countrymen lose tempers.

He and Sancho have reached the mountains that bar the smooth plains of La Mancha from the fluid meadows of Andalusia southward: mountains of rock flung to sky, titanic gestures of rock, pourings of cosmic might into the waste of rock.

The Sierra, sudden beneath La Mancha, suggests delirious excess. There was the furious way of Roland after his Angelica had slept with the Moor Medoro.There is as well a boy servant who disappears from the tale after the first chapter.Doubtless Cervantes meant to employ him as Don Quixote’s squire: but when the independent knight after his first sally made choice of Sancho Panza, there was naught left for the poor so that he fades away.And he takes Sancho to witness of his straits, ere he sends him off to beseech mercy of Dulcinea.Nor is he fooled by Sancho’s meeting with the lady.He needs a helmet—indeed he needs Mambrino’s magic helmet.A barber comes, riding an ass and on his head (for it is raining) a copper bleeding-dish.Meantime, there is the tale to tell—with much laughter—of his absurd adventures.Cervantes wishes to mock this medieval scarecrow jousting against the Modern.Four chapters later a worker in the neighboring fields addresses him as Quijana and as such he made his will at the end of his last journey. Quixote (Quijote in modern Castilian) was the choice of the old man himself. He is a cadaverous, lantern-jawed, brittle-boned, deep-eyed fellow.And as Cervantes gives him birth, he is old—old for his fifty years in a frustrated Manchegan village. His naked house, one room of which is stocked with the chivalric books that have sucked his substance and addled his slight brains, is cared for by an old nurse and a young niece.


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