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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Don Quixote And The Ethical Self - 1202 words
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By far, book Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra is the most famous and respected book in the Spanish literature. Originally Cervantes intended to present this work as a derision of the popular ballads, but it appeared that he also made a parody on the chivalry romances of the time. as a result of Cervantess ambitions, he created a book that became one of the most entertaining adventure stories of all time, presenting two most interesting characters of the fiction genreDon Quixote and Sancho Panza. By 1916, the year when Cervantes died, his book Don Quixote was already popular and well known both in French and in English. There is no doubt that Don Quixote character is the one that deserves most of readers attention, for it presents a multisided personality that can be analyzed from a psychological and ethical points of view. Cervantes was inspired to create such a unique character of the book by his own experiences, for his biography, preceding the writing of the book, had a lot of extremes.
From his youth, there were serious problems with money in his family, thats why education that young Miguel got was scarce. However, he always loved to read and had a dream of becoming a poet. I n1569 he left for Rome, where he learned fluent Italian and studied Italian authors. In a year afterwards he joined the army, where he showed his heroism in the battle for Lepanto in 1571 against Turkish fleet. In 1575 Turks captured the ship Cervantes was traveling on, and he had to spend more than five years in capture. After his return to Spain he continued his career as a poet. The main character of the novel, Don Quixote is a skinny, middle-aged gentleman who, having gone crazy from reading too many books about courteous knights, determines to set off on a great adventure to win respect and glory in the name of his invented ladylove, Dulcinea
Don Quixote awaits for a sense of purpose and beautytwo things he believes the world lacksand hopes to bring order to a confused world by restoring the chivalric code of the knights-errant. Originally, Don Quixote's good intentions do only hurt those he meets, since he is largely not able to see the world as it really is. Starting with Don Quixote's earliest adventuresthe fighting in the inn and the battle with the giants/windmillshe repetitively interprets his experiences according to his reading of the sixteenth-century books of chivalry, the libros de caballerнas. Consecutively, most common types of chivalric incidents are echoed in the crazy knight's adventures. Therefore, in a few well-known instances, the knight helps the army of a Christian king against a Moorish one (rebaсos, or armies of sheep); he confronts evil giants (the windmills); an charmed lady pays him a nocturnal visit (Maritornes); he saves a lady from her kidnapper (vizcaнno or Basque); he retaliates a slain knight (the funeral procession); he challenges the wild beast (the lion); he competes in disputes and tournaments (his plans for the St. George's Day tournament in Zaragoza); he defends his lady's beauty against all comers (Toledo merchants); he is whisked away on quests by strange means (the captivated boat); and he changes chivalric epithets according to circumstances (El Caballero de la Triste Figura, El Caballero de los Leones).
The willful swindlers of Don Quixote, like the priest and the barber, Dorotea, Sansуn Carrasco, the duke and duchess, and Altisidora, are also readers of the books of chivalry and thus know well how to invent chivalric plots that fit Don Quixote's expectations. Although we cannot know for sure how Cervantes finally felt about the Spanish books of chivalry, it is obvious that he knew them very well. It would also seem obvious that the full parody effect of Don Quixote depends upon readers who will instantly recognize the chivalric material. Thus the imagined world of Don Quixote, full of readers of chivalric romances, was formed for a public made up of readers of the same romances, by an author who was also a reader of the romances. Don Quixotes erotic fantasies mixed with what he has read in the chivalry books come out at the second arrival to the castle/inn.
When the innkeeper's wife and beautiful daughter, aided by the bizarre Maritornes, are the ones who attend to his injuries, Don Quixote's immediate response, with the appropriate rhetoric of regret at a previous romantic attachment, sounds just about as if the daughter had already offered herself to him. When later that night he is lying awake, he makes logical assumption that the pretty lady who had helped to cure him would soon arrive at his bed. And it is with the greatest enthusiasm that he seizes the incomparable fermosura (Maritornes), in no hurry to liberate her from his arms until he has explained at length his devotion to Dulcinea. Of course part of the humor of the scene originates from the contrast between Don Quixote's self-designation as one of the true knights and his evident pleasure of the rejection scene. No single analysis of Don Quixote's character can satisfactorily explain the split between his mental illness and his sanity. He remains a mystery throughout the novel, a character with whom we may have difficulty identifying and sympathizing.
We may see Don Quixote as modest and think that he really does know what is going on around him and that he merely chooses to ignore the world and the consequences of his ruinous actions. At several times in the novel, Cervantes confirms this suspicion that Don Quixote may know more than he admits. Therefore, when Don Quixote suddenly announces himself sane at the end of the novel, we wonder at his ability to elude his madness so quickly and ask whether he has at least partly affected this madness. On the other hand, we can read Don Quixote's character as a caution that even the most intellectual and otherwise practically minded person can fall victim to his own thoughtlessness. In addition, we may see Don Quixote's adventures as a warning that chivalryor any other old-fashioned set of valuescan both produce positive and negative results.
Given the social disorder of the period in which Cervantes wrote, this latter reading is particularly pleasing. Nevertheless, all of these readings of Don Quixote's character operate in the novel. To my mind Don Quixote may serve as an ideal of morality with high ethical standards. Though the book he depicts him as insane person imagining himself as a valiant knight, he makes a lot of universally right things that can be served as examples to follow even nowadays. With the help of Don Quixote Cervantes attacked the notion of class inequality that was flourishing at that time.
It was widely accepted back then that all aristocrats were automatically respected and noble, which is irrational. The struggle of the main hero is based on noble intentions and is worth being admired, despite of how much insane as it could be. His noble deeds usually bring him only negative results, but it is not what the attention must be centered upon, it is the true purpose of his behavior what matters in this context.
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