Everybody Plays the Fool: A Comparison of King Lear’s Fool and Don Quixote’s Squire

The first time the Fool enters in Shakespeare’s King Lear he immediately offers Kent his coxcomb, or jester’s hat. Lear asks the Fool “My pretty knave, how dost thou?” (1.4.98) This initial action and inquiry of the Fool is representative of the relationship between the Fool and the other characters throughout the entire play. In … Read moreEverybody Plays the Fool: A Comparison of King Lear’s Fool and Don Quixote’s Squire

Liberty in Cervantes’s Don Quixote

In the Prologue to Don Quixote, Cervantes presents his protagonist as a “dry, shriveled, whimsical offspring… just what might be begotten in a prison, where every discomfort is lodged and every dismal noise has its dwellingâ€? (41). But if conceived in an Iron Age of limited religious, social, and intellectual freedoms as the product of … Read moreLiberty in Cervantes’s Don Quixote

Courtly Love vs. Real Love in Don Quijote: Cervantes’ View

One recurring motif in Don Quijote is love relationships that develop between males and females and the many different consequences these relationships can have. In fact, most of the “stories” found within the text of the novel are driven in some way by the force of love. The actions of Don Quijote himself are all … Read moreCourtly Love vs. Real Love in Don Quijote: Cervantes’ View

The Process of Perception: Cervantes’ Don Quixote and Woolf’s Lily Briscoe

The process of perception involves two steps: the recognition of sensory information and the interpretation of sensory information. In order for the truth to be perceived, or, in other words, for something to be perceived accurately, sensory information must be recognized or identified correctly and then interpreted faithfully according to that recognition. A faithful interpretation … Read moreThe Process of Perception: Cervantes’ Don Quixote and Woolf’s Lily Briscoe

Complimentary Antagonists: How Don Quixote and Sancho Panza Construct Their Own Reality

Don Quixote is among the most influential novels ever written. It explores a myriad of imperative themes that profoundly effect human nature. Such gargantuan themes include the shifting boundaries of truth and illusion, how society views justice and morality, and the eternal quest for love. Yet, underling all of these paramount themes are the interactions … Read moreComplimentary Antagonists: How Don Quixote and Sancho Panza Construct Their Own Reality

The Narrator-Knight, Or Don Narrador

For much of the opening part of Don Quijote, the narrator contents himself with narrating. Though we are made aware of his presence as a character by his first-person style, his subjective interpretation of Quijote’s actions, and occasional references to his historical research, it is Quijote himself who rightfully takes center-stage throughout the first eight … Read moreThe Narrator-Knight, Or Don Narrador

The Balance of Power: A Struggle for Interpretation in Don Quijote

It is difficult to read more than one or two pages of Don Quijote de la Mancha without coming across an example of the union (or conflict) between the extraordinary and the mundane. Indeed, Cervantes uses this juxtaposition repeatedly as his principal comic device, generally at the expense of poor, mad Don Quijote, whose overzealous … Read moreThe Balance of Power: A Struggle for Interpretation in Don Quijote

A Reasonable Idealist

During the late Middle Ages, the ideals of chivalry and honor emerged as the dominant themes in literature. Romantic tales of gallant knights and courtly love captured the imaginations of medieval readers, and this influence carried over into the Renaissance and early modern Europe. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, these romantic medieval values clashed … Read moreA Reasonable Idealist

The Planned Disappearance of Don Quixote

In her essay “Don Quijote’s Disappearing Act”, Anne J. Cruz argues that Don Quixote’s death can be predicted, and as early as Part 1. Her thesis is that the first and second parts of the novel can be understood thus: “ […] Don Quijote’s final disappearing act confirms his irrevocable subsumation into his own text.” … Read moreThe Planned Disappearance of Don Quixote

The Banner of Enlightenment

As proposed by Immanual Kant, the Enlightenment consisted of having “the courage to use your own understanding,” and John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Descartes’ Meditations, and Cervantes’ Don Quixote collectively provide instances that both affirm and subvert Kant’s proposition. Paradise Lost’s Lucifer embodies Kant’s idea of intellectual independence—fighting against God’s authority in order to make his … Read moreThe Banner of Enlightenment