Plato and "Don Quixote" Book Review by thowyatt

Plato and "Don Quixote"
An analysis of Plato's views on poetry and their relevance to "Don Quixote" by Miguel de Cervantes.
# 115696 | 1,323 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2009 | US
Published on Aug 09, 2009 in Literature (Greek and Roman) , English (Analysis) , Literature (Spanish)

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This paper discusses Plato's concern that a fictional work of literature could negatively influence the malleable minds of a younger audience. The paper relates that this concern is evident in Plato's "Republic" and then looks at how Miguel de Cerventes' "Don Quixote" lends support to this concern, as the main character, Don Quixote, is driven insane by the fictional stories that he enjoyed. The paper concludes that it was because fictional tails of such fantastic adventures of knights were allowed in Spain that Don Quixote was able to get his hands on these books, and fall under their spell. They inspired vast delusions in him, just as Plato said such writings could if they were not censored.

From the Paper:

"Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote is the story of a man, who, accompanied by his loyal squire, participated in activities based on the delusions inspired by the books that he read. Don Quixote was at first a normal, honorable man, but after reading a great many books and stories about the chivalrous and challenging adventures of knights, he became of the opinion that he was indeed a knight himself, and that the stories he had read were actually incorporated into the world he experienced. He would produce beliefs, based on the readings that he had scoured, that simple objects and people of the world were actually characters present in the adventures of the greatest knight who ever was, as he often considered himself."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • De Cervantes, Miguel. Translation by Rutherford, John. Don Quixote de la Mancha. Penguin Books, New York, 2003
  • De Armas, Frederick A. Cervantes and the Italian Renaissance. In Cascardi, Anthony J. The Cambridge Companion to Cervantes. Cambridge University Press, 2002.
  • Plato. Edition by Cooper, John M. The Republic. In Plato, Complete Works. Hackett Publishing, Indiana, 1997.

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