Was Don Quixote Truly Mad?
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The paper closely examines Cervantes' text, "The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha", and reviews selected criticism in the several years since his book's initial publication in the early 17th century. The paper reveals that Don Quixote was in fact no madman, was far from insane, and not even close to being a fool. The paper argues that Cervantes actually employs his protagonist's alleged madness as a sophisticated processing mechanism to give his character an idealized, highly romantic view that will aid his chosen career path. The paper contends that Don Quixote is fully cognizant and succeeds in bringing to life the archaic ideals of chivalry, heroism, romanticism, and other honorable notions typified during the dark ages.
From the Paper:"Insanity is a state of mind in which one has no grasp on reality, and is not able to perceive it whatsoever. Don Quixote, however, suffers from no such mental derangement, temporary or otherwise. He is taken with a selected perception of reality (the likes of which have often inspired the pursuits of several notable artists, politicians and sports figures) in which one sees what one chooses to see. But Don Quixote still knows what actually exists, in a way that is very much real. The following quotation, taken from Samuel Putnam's introduction to The Portable Cervantes, directly alludes to this fact. "In the admirable statement of Frank Waldo, "Don Quixote...is a man possessed: not a madman"; and there is all the difference in the world between the two. He is fully aware of the true character of his hallucinations; he knows, for example, that enchanters do not actually transform shape but merely appear to do so; and with this realization, exit the madman...(p. 31)". This quote denotes that Don Quixote is not insane, and merely employs a selected viewpoint of reality to further his own means, that of laboring as a knight errant to restore romantic notions of gallantry."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Bell, Aubrey. Cervantes. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1940. Print.
- Cervantes, Miguel. The Portable Cervantes. Trans. Samuel Putnam. Fifth ed. New York: The Viking Press, 1957. Print.
- Toma, Mariano. The Life and Misadventures of Miguel de Cervantes. Trans. Warre B. Wells. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1934.
Cite this Analytical Essay:
Was Don Quixote Truly Mad? (2013, May 24) Retrieved November 14, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/was-don-quixote-truly-mad-153358/
"Was Don Quixote Truly Mad?" 24 May 2013. Web. 14 November. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/was-don-quixote-truly-mad-153358/>