Don Quixote Insanity Essay
Don Quixote Essay about created reality
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The novel Don Quixote, by Miguel Cervantes, is an exploration into the idea of created reality. Cervantes, through the character of Don Quixote, illustrates to readers how we as human beings often make reality to be whatever we want it to be.
Don Quixote is a perfect example of “created reality.” The character Don Quixote is real, and he lives in a real world, but everything that he sees is exaggerated in his mind. It all begins with his name. Don Quixote was not actually a Don. He was a wealthy, intelligent farmer who read too many books about knighthood and went crazy. He convinced a simple-minded peasant named Sancho to become his squire, promising him wealth and a high spot in society. This…show more content…
I believe that Sancho despises the fact that his master might be mad, but accepts some of the lunacy to make his job easier.
Despite his delusions, however, Don Quixote is fiercely intelligent and, at times, seemingly sane. No single analysis of Don Quixote’s character can adequately explain the split between his madness and his sanity. It may be possible that Don Quixote really does know what is going on around him and that he merely chooses to ignore the world and the consequences of his disastrous actions. At several times in the novel, Cervantes validates this suspicion that Don Quixote may know more than he admits. On the other hand, we can read Don Quixote’s character as a warning that even the most intelligent and otherwise practically minded person can fall victim to his own foolishness.
Castiglione supports the idea in, The Book of the Courtier, that a person can be constructed and that people should adhere to an ideal and try to emulate it, even if it is impossible to become. However Machiavelli is more concerned with describing a real model for princes and what they have to do to survive as actual rulers rather than a happy ideal they can try to be, but never will obtain. Both Machiavelli and Castiglione spend a lot of time explaining how important it is for one to
Is Don Quixote actually a madman? Most characters in Don Quixote would definitely say yes, since this dude has all the characteristics of a madman—namely, a crazy set of ideas that lead him to pose a danger to both himself and others. But on the other hand, the values of chivalry aren't the worst values in the world, if you take away the violence part. Things like loyalty, humility, and honor are definitely things the world has always had in short supply. But the real question is whether you're willing to take the bad with the good when it comes to Don Quixote's craziness.
Questions About Madness
- Do Don Quixote's actions fit your definition of "insane"? Why or why not?
- Why do you think Don Quixote suddenly snaps out of his wacky ideas at the end of the book? Does the text give any evidence for why this happens?
- Why is it so hard for people to convince Don Quixote that the knights in his books never existed? Use specific examples from the text to support your answer.
- For the most part, do the characters in Don Quixote deal with the Don's madness in a productive way? Why or why not?
Chew on This
In Don Quixote, the madman might actually be the only "sane" person in the text.
Don Quixote ultimately shows us that it's stupid and destructive to get too involved with fictional stories.