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Analyzing the Don QuixoteBook Report

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Don Quixote

Miguel de Cervantes' novel, Don Quixote, follows the notion that a common objective of honor is what drives an individual's thoughts and actions, which acquire depth through duty (McGuire, n.d.) Don Quixote's enduring spirit may be evidenced by the author's statement that "For neither good nor evil can last forever; and so it follows that as evil has lasted a long time, good must now be close at hand" (Goodreads, 2016). The story's setting is the author's native country -- Spain -- through which Cervantes journeyed in his days as a youth and a middle-aged man. The story offers readers a cross-sectional view of Spanish feelings, thoughts, and life, at the close of the "Age of Chivalry" (Bookrags, 2016). This paper will examine, in brief, Cervantes' endeavors to take the act of reading beyond the passive realm and bring together meta-fiction and 'pseudo-chivalric linearity'.

Body: Characters

Don Quixote or Alonso Quixano: A completely nutty, sweet-tempered middle-aged man who reads books on knights and begins considering himself as one, taking upon himself the task of setting things right. He starts going by the name of "Don Quixote de La Mancha" -- a fictitious name he makes up for himself in his fantasies.

Sancho Panza: A short and stout countryman, whose ride is a donkey. Although he believes Quixote's ideas to be crazy, he plays the "servant's" role to fleece Quixote.

Dulcinea: A poor, chubby town girl regarded by the crazy Don Quixote as a lovely princess. Dulcinea, however, has no idea about Quixote.

Nicholas the Barber and Pedro Perez the Priest: Quixote's friends who attempt to rescue Alonso from the crazy ideas he comes up with, by burning Alonso's books to prevent him from reading, fantasizing and actually acting on his fantasies. When he embarks on an adventure, his friends attempt to get Alonso to return to town. (Schoolbytes, 1998)

Plot

An eccentric fifty-year-old man, Alonso Quixano, reads hero-themed books voraciously, and begins to think of himself as a knight. He imagines himself in love with Dulcinea, a princess (who, really, is an ordinary town girl). Assuming the name of Don Quixote, Alonso dons old armor, sets off for adventure, and lands in trouble. The crazed man fights a crowd of (apparently) "evil knights" and is defeated. His friend, the priest (Pedro Perez), convinces him to return home and burns up his books to prevent him from reading, fantasizing and acting on his fantasies.

Subsequently, Quixote recruits Sancho Panza as his servant, to accompany him on his great adventures. The two set out and land in heaps of trouble. Quixote misconstrues windmills for huge giants and attempts to battle them. When Perez attempts to convince Quixote to return, by telling him a tale of a princess in the clutches of a large monster, the plan backfires. Ultimately, Quixote is simply "caged" and taken home. However, on the journey back, Panza frees him and the two head to more trouble -- this time by attacking a religious group. Ultimately, Alonso realizes the fact that he really is crazy, and decides to quit being a hero and savior (Schoolbytes, 1998).

The novel doesn't acquire depth through Quixote's noble, amusing, emblematic and entertaining escapades, but via the tale's self-consciously literary schemes and, more categorically, via the dialectical interaction of meta-fiction and metaphysics. Proposing a couple of arguments that may be identified as a hunt for glory and fame, and doubts regarding method, the novel is undoubtedly richly textured. Its first chapter highlights the mutual dependence of ideas perceived generally as binary contrasts. Such a highly advanced expectation of post-structuralism delineates the course of the plot as well as the meta-plot. The element of meta-fiction doesn't appear now and again during chivalric action, thus avoiding being monotonous. Instead, the author renders the aspects inseparable. For instance, Quixote's Golden Age speech in the 11th chapter makes use of rhetorical strategies for exalting the army; a man who favors arms is gifted in knowledge, a source of words for replacing or complementing deeds. Quixote argues in support of the virtue of justice at a time before compromise and uncertainty became entrenched in society. Although he accepts the transition, he has to ignore the present day and convince… [END OF PREVIEW]

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