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Main page » Fiction literature » Don Quixote de la Mancha

Don Quixote de la Mancha


Don Quixote is a comedy, which could only have been written by the hitherto obscure genius later in life after he had suffered injury on the battlefield and was subject to periods of harsh confinement in prison. The comedy is bittersweet about this everyman who lives strictly by a code of ancient ethical ideals that inspire him to fits of lunacy, folly and madness. Lucid, indeed inspired, when the subject is anything but knight errantry, Quixote's commitment to his ideals brings him insult, injury, poverty and ridicule. This knight is duped by his convictions into waging war on windmills, galley slaves, funeral processions, pilgrims, shepherds, herds of bulls and countless chimeras invoked in the name of love for his Dona el Toboso. This most chaste of knights cannot see the realities of human nature and worse cannot accept them. His endless brutal punishments for his idealistic blindspots plague him and his squire, Pancho Panza, wherever they aspire in the personal quest to right an injury, assist a noble cause, protect the weak and innocent, and slay evil demons of every imaginable stripe. When I first read this novel, I thought Quixote a fool who was duly punished for being so out of touch with reality. By the end of the novel I saw that Don Quixote was no less than an everyman whose noblest instincts were doomed to bring suffering upon him as he was driven to confront the baser powers of existence. What Crusader fails to risk madness in the wake of the futility of human action in a vast, overpowering and hostile universe? In Quixote and Sancho I caught a glimpse of Vladimir and Estragon in "Waiting for Godot." One man's truth is another's falsehood. One man's reality is another's illusion. One man's ideal is another's folly. Yet Quixote rides out in his quests across Spain, nevertheless, without fear for the chaos he engenders nor the futility of his cause nor the danger to himself or his best friend. For his nobility Don Quixote becomes not only famous and truly beloved but also earns immortality. Read this "father of the modern novel" for its wit and genius and classical construction to understand the Quixotic ideals that stir within you and the possibilities for real victory of the human spirit.

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Tags: Quixote, ideals, subject, injury, comedy