Don Quixote Book I
Don Quixote Route Around Spain and Adventure
Don Quixote is about a man who spends his life reading fictions, which contain heroes and knights who help the helpless and are not afraid of adventures. This novel is claimed to be “one of the best-selling novels in world, and it is believed that Don Quixote is the very first novel of modern writing which created a new path of writing in Spain and around the world”. This book was a great success for the writer and Spain since the day it was published; it has crossed all the boundaries of cultures and languages. Criticisms and perceptions in many languages have been published on Don Quixote since the day it was out for reader until now the 21st century.
Alonso Quixano is the main character of this book; in addition, he comes up with a new name for himself which is Don Quixote. One day he decides to be a knight and take adventures in order to help people. He hopes that someday people read his name as the courageous knight like how he reads all those names in his books. Intense reading makes Don Quixote mad, and he is in a stage in his life that he cannot separate the real life around him from the fantasy he has made up in his mind. He claims that “he is in battle with the giants.”Giants are Don’s fictitious enemies in the novel, and he has to get rid of them to achieve his dream.
Alonso Quixano is a middle aged man, around fifty, from La Mancha, Spain. He wants to make himself into a character of a knight, a man who is honored by the public, and the one who is remembered as noble and brave. He wants to make his fictitious character a reality, and he becomes mad when he wants to live like the heroes in the books he has read. He leaves his home wearing an old armor in quest of his dream. He wants to find his dream lady, a Spanish country girl named Aldonza Lorenzo who he has named Dulcinea del Toboso. He drags Sancho Panza, a farmer living nearby him, to be with him in his adventure, and in return Don Quixote tells Sancho that he can make him a governor after they success in their adventure against the giants.
Don Quixote’s personality becomes very complex that he loses the ability to differentiate between the illusions he had and the real world he lives in. In the first book of the series, he sees windmills as giants, inns as castles, and prostitutes as princesses. He is fully controlled by his fantasy and imaginations that he would not listen to his servant or anyone else telling him the real events happening around him. On the other hand, in the later book of the series, Don Quixote has a character based on the first book. His personality is not under his own control because he no longer lives up to his fantasy but to people’s fantasy.
Based on the novel, when Quixote sees wind-mills he visions them as giants and starts attacking them even though his companion, Sancho, makes him aware that there are no giants and only windmills are visible from them. Don refuses to believe his servant, and he is sure that he sees giants; therefore he goes closer and closer to them until he realizes that his servant is right. Even though Quixote realizes the truth, he does not admit it, and he believes that magic has changed everything in his honor. His delusion makes Don to refuse reality and never doubt that he is wrong when is actually seen the windmills with his eyes. His ignorance of the truth around him and the impact of his delusion have controlled his vision and thinking and have left him to live in his imaginative world.
Part II of this story is changing like how Don’s fantasy is changing, and it is turning a part as the story goes on. Reality is rising up in his imaginative world, and he starts to doubt his views. He is beginning to see the reality around him, and in one point he sees inns as inns not castles; also, he realizes that the peasant girl to whom he is falling is a normal peasant girl not the princess he has portrayed.
“For what I want of Dulcinea del Toboso she is as good as the greatest princess in the land. For not all those poets who praise ladies under names which they choose so freely, really have such mistresses. I am quite satisfied to imagine and believe that the good Aldonza Lorenzo is so lovely and virtuous”. From this quote of the first part, Don explains to his servant that the real characteristic of the lady he is falling for is not important for him because he has already portrayed his ideal characteristic of her in his imagination. The real face of Dulcinea is not available for readers because throughout the novel, she is only seen via Don’s imaginative figure. His imagination and fantasy have created an ideal figure for her that takes place of reality.
Miguel De Cervantes’ Biography
Miguel de Cervantes was a Spanish novelist born in 1547. Cervantes is best recognized for writing Don Quixote; however, he is also the author of many other notable pieces of literature. Yet, his finest novels were written after the age of 65, including Don Quixote. He was also a soldier who fought in the Battle of Lepanto where he was seriously wounded. Miguel de Cervantes was raised in a family with financial problems, and even during adulthood he couldn’t make enough money to have a comfortable life. He died in 1616, 12 years after written Don Quixote, for which he never received any monetary compensation (McCrory, 2014).
A developmental theory that can well describe Cervantes’ development, is Vygotsky’s Sociocultural theory, which argues that cultural engagement connections demonstrates the social environment significant influence as a vital foundation of development (Daneshfar & Moharami, 2018).
Prenatal development through childhood
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was the fourth child of Rodrigo De Cervantes, a Surgeon, and Leonor de Cortinas, from who little is known. His parents got married in 1542, and it’s very probable that Leonor’s parents disapproved the union. During the days prior to Cervantes birth, the family was already struggling with financial hardship, due to Rodrigo’s multiple debts and lack of customers (McCrory, 2014). It is probable that Rodrigo’s inability to get customers on his profession as a surgeon, or stable housing, resulted in significant amount of stress for Leonor. Psychological stress throughout pregnancy has been presumed to be a teratogen (DiPietro, 2012). For example, researchers have discovered that life stressor during pregnancy can result in low birth weight (Su et al., 2015). Other researchers have suggested that prenatal exposure to maternal stress have an important part in the development of the fetus’s brain. Symptoms related to stress are common during pregnancy and constitutes a neurobehavioral disorder risk factor. These infants, are more likely to be born with disorders as, autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit with hyperactivity disorder, major depression and schizophrenia (DiPietro, 2012).
Maternal prenatal stress it’s known to have negative outcome on the child development after birth, in particular on children behavioral outcome. Studies have proposed that, capability to pay attention of children during developmental evaluations, is associated to the degree of stress experienced by the mother throughout the gestation period. Additionally, mothers who conveyed experiencing significant amount of stress during pregnancy, have a tendency to report feeling the same amount of stress after delivering the baby, and tent to perceive parenting as stressful, at difference of those women who didn’t reported any stress during pregnancy (DiPietro, J. A. (2012).
Cervantes was born in 1547 in Alcala de Henares, Spain. During his childhood, the family moved several times, first to the city of Alcala, then Valladolid, Cordoba, Sevilla and finally Madrid, as his father looked for better clientele (McCrory, 2014). Several studies suggest that there is a delicate stage during childhood, usually the first five year, when increased domiciliary mobility can have a damaging outcome on the child’s mental health later in life. Having to move from a house to another can be consider a life stressful event. It has been hypothesized that a disruption of family routine can be detrimental for the child later behavior, especially if the move is not voluntary. In addition, it has been found that excessive mobility during the first years of life is linked to increased externalizing issues. Recent studies propose malleability of intellectual functions associated with adverse environmental factors during childhood through adulthood. Stable housing helps the child cultivate important connections with peers, neighbors in the community, and teachers who can be a factor to the child good socio-emotional development. Moving constantly, could have disturbed these defensive relationships and increase the chance for exposure to hostile environments. Frequent moves have shown to limit the ability of families to accumulate and use age-appropriate enhancement resources and deprive housing conditions can limit parent’s devoted space to involve kids in learning (Rumbold et al., 2012).
The Cervantes family also relayed on the generosity of family and friends for housing in many occasions. In 1551 they rented a house in Valladolid, which Rodrigo was unable to afford and a year latter was forced to request a loan. Unable to pay back the loan, Rodrigo was arrested and the family loss all personal belongings (McCrory, 2014). One significant barrier to healthy child development is inadequate housing. Also, parental economical and emotional stress can make them less available to talk and get involve in mutual exchanges essential for linguistic development. In the other hand, because children remain engaging spatially in spite of environmental commotion, nonverbal task progress more consistently (Fowler et al., 2015).
It’s known that Andres, Cervantes’s older brother, die during infancy (McCrory, 2014). The loss of a child at any age, is a difficult experience. Studies have found that siblings of children who die are at risk for externalizing and internalizing problems when compare to other kids. Quality studies have shown that siblings grief can have lifelong negative outcomes, as feelings of isolation and social withdrawal with peers and at home. For example, in a study, siblings of kids who die reported feeling different from peers as result of their experience. Also, peers’ interest and activities may result less important for them after the death of a brother or sister. They also reported feeling guilty, depressed and anxious. In the same studies, parents reported their kids having lower social activity and higher withdrawal than peers. Additionally, the parents reported sleeping and nightmares problems (Field & Behrman, 2003).
Adolescent Development through Adulthood
Due to the family’s constant domiciliary move, little is known about Cervantes childhood and teenage years. Some believed that he studied in a Jesuit School (McCrory, 2014). Scholars propose that religious education aid children develop morality, because of what they are taught, but some others have suggested that this type of education only facilitates the conditions for it, providing skillful teacher that can contribute to such development, but this development could equally be acquire at home. Moral development, can result from religious education grounded integration. However, for this to happen, the school should maintain a whole school perspective on values that includes not only the students, but also the teacher and staff (Thanissaro, 2010). During his days at the Jesuit School, he was also introduced to basics of syntax and vocabulary, and exposed to theatre during schooldays, which facilitated to grow an interest for theatre in him (McCrory, 2014). Studies suggest that art have a positive impact on adolescents. For example, studies shown higher standardized test scores on individuals who studied theater, than peers who didn’t. These results suggest that art studies result on positive developmental outcome that extend beyond adolescence into adulthood (Foster & Jenkins, n.d).
At the age of 19, Cervantes left his family. Some argue that he was forced to run out of Spain due to legal problems, after getting involve on illegal dueling, in which he wounded another man (McCrory, 2014). It’s important to remember that Cervantes faced many adversities during childhood and adolescence developmental stages, due to financial and housing issues of the family. Studies have shown that individuals who experience this type of adverse situations, may react differently to emerging adulthood challenges and may be at risk for problems that hinder their abilities and performance during the transition to adulthood (Marcotte, 2008). In regards to Cervantes’s legal problem, developmental theories suggest that emerging adults have less self-control which leads to less interpersonal motivations to refrain from risk taken behaviors (Smith, Cleeland & Dennis, 2010).
The Spanish empire was growing outside its territorial border during the time Cervantes was presumably running from justice, which gave him the possibility to experience other cultures during his time abroad. Also, at age 23 he enlisted as a soldier and traveled while fighting in several battles (McCrory, 2014). All this travel allowed him to experience people, culture and things that writers consider essential for their education. Recently, neuroscientist and psychologist have started to investigate how traveling can potentially affect mental change. Results of different studies suggest that experiencing new smells, language, sounds, sights and sensations, increase cognitive capabilities and the ability to create new connections (Maddux, Adam, & Galinsky, 2010). It was during adulthood that Cervantes wrote his most famous novels, poetry and plays, which are filled with intellectual satire and expressions (McCrory, 2014).
During the time that Cervantes served as a soldier, he received several injuries, as the one that left him with only partial use of one of his hands. He subsequently fought in the battles of Corfú, Navarino, and Tunis, in which he was capture, spending five years in prison (McCrory, 2014). Despite the multiple support that the military provides for a successful transition to adulthood, the augmented physical and psychological risk of service, could diminish independence and impair interpersonal relations, endangering the transition to adulthood. Military service during war exposes the individual to mental health and physical disabilities, as the one experienced by Cervantes. Also, transition to civilian work could be difficult due to cognitive injuries suffered during service (Kelty, Kleykamp & Segal, 2010). Many argue that enlistment and delinquent behavior are positively linked, since service is an attractive alternative for delinquents to mark their transition to adulthood and distant themselves from delinquent behavior (Teachman & Tedrow, 2014), which could explain why Cervantes enlisted during the time he was apparently running from justice (McCrory, 2014).
In 1580, at the age of 33 and after finishing his military service, the life of Cervantes took a turning point. He got marry with Catalina de Palacios in 1584 at age 37, but didn’t conceive any children. It’s known that Cervantes had an affair during his marriage, with a woman with who he conceived a child (McCrory, 2014). A useful framework for predicting marital infidelity can be found on the attachment theory, which argues that lovers develop psychological representations of the availability of their significant others, that results on solid behavioral and cognitive patterns of reacting to them. Individuals who develop an insecure attachment style, tend to believe that significant others are less available to them and behave accordingly. While those with secure attachments believe that significant others are available and respond in view of that. Those who develop increased level of attachment anxiety are unsure of their significant others availability and manage by latching on to partners and looking for reassurance. Those who develop increased levels of attachment avoidance, are uncertain of their significant others availability and deal with it by evading actions that encourage intimacy. Both types of insecurities could be linked to infidelity during marriage. Those with elevated levels of attachment anxiety, frequently feel as they haven’t met their needs for intimacy in their relationships and seek sex in order to meet these needs with another lover by means of infidelity. They are also more sexually permissive and are less devoted to relationships (Michelle, Levi & James, 2013).
Just like his father before him, Cervantes had problems attaining income through his selected occupation and remained extremely poor until the publication of Don Quixote in 1605. Cervantes lived his last years in poverty, having to depend on the help of his only daughter for subsistence, due to the fact that his books didn’t sell well until after his dead (McCrory, 2014). Physical and involved care need is possible the most extreme type of dependency during late adulthood, but it only occurs if an older person is weak, sick or handicapped (Schröder-Butterfill & Fithry, 2014), as in the case of Cervantes.
Theory relevant for Cervantes’s Development
Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory, can well describe Cervantes’ development. The theory contends that cultural engagement associations proves the social environment important impact on childhood development. Culture, which is transmitted from parents to children, and social relations are very important to cognitive development. (Daneshfar & Moharami, 2018). This theory could also explain how Cervantes’s early education in art and theater, and multiple trips abroad, allowed him to experience people, cultures and things that influenced his socio-cultural development.
A Significance Of Social Communication in Cervantes’ Novels
There are seven billion people on the earth. Each divided somewhere among the habitable continents of the world, most congregating in sociocultural conglomerates, yet each an individual. When people deliver motivational speeches they sometimes emphasize that each of us is unique, with a unique skillset, organization of cells, rhythm of heartbeat, DNA, and finger prints. In this way, everyone builds and creates their sense of selfhood from multiple principles which leaves us with a world full of countlessly different people. This sense of selfhood and identity are drawn from various cultural, social, and traditional backgrounds. Identity is also a direct result of a person’s past and their present action. Self-declaration or roles that an individual bestows upon his or herself are the most important in defining and establishing an identity. To consider oneself as important and valid, as worthy and memorable and many other traits are the sense of self developed through the concepts of self.
The first modern novel, The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote De La Mancha by Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra, offers complex insight into identity by demonstrating the foundations of self-hood. From the novel the conceptual principles that a self must possess power, autonomy, and authority can be drawn. Acting as a knight errant Don Quixote discovers a true sense of self that deviates from social norms and material possessions. He embarks on a famous journey to create his own identity. Using imitation as his guide Don Quixote exposes the parts of himself that were potentially suppressed in his life as a mere hidalgo. Sancho Panza also serves to highlight these ideas of self-concept.
A true self must have power or the ability to obtain goals despite opposition. Don Alonso Quixano did not have very much power, he was wealthy and in good standing with the community, a quiet man with a large empty house and only one close relative, his niece. He did however have autonomy, the ability to make decisions without asking permission from anyone, demonstrated by his freedom to sell his land to acquire books at the start of the novel. He had little legitimate authority over anyone and was very much absorbed in the societal norms. In contrasts Don Quixote had a lot of power because he was a knight defending the code of chivalry and nothing could stop him from obtaining his version of justice. He obtained authority through a use of force, creating a stronger sense of self-worth.
Clearly Don Quioxte’s methods extended well beyond the societal norms as everyone he came across and even the narrator describes him as a mad man. Yet it is the combination of power, autonomy, authority, and deviance that made Don Quixote such a memorable figure. The less powerful Alonso Quixano may have been using this new identity to become memorialized. Memorialization is a primary determinant of self-worth, especially for men, who unlike women often are not fulfilled in memorialization through childrearing. Being remembered after death is a power that knights errant and immensely wealthy men possessed and because Don Quixano could not be immensely wealthy he uses the authority of his new identity to create a name for himself.
Sancho Panza is the average Spaniard; a family and a small farm, in a small village. He embodies the average man, with very little power, no autonomy, and definitely no authority. “This left Sancho as content as the priest was amazed at his simplicity and at the hold his maters nonsense had taken of his imagination, because Sancho really did believe that Don Quixote was going to become an emperor,” (Cervantes 264.)Sancho’s identity lies in his possessions and when he learns that through Don Quixote he can acquire more possessions he follows Don Quixote loyally. “Sancho appeared in the middle of this conversation and was plunged into thought and confusion when he heard that knight errants had fallen out of fashion and that books of chivalry were a pack of arrant lies; and he decided that he’d better wait and see how this latest trip of his master’s turned out, and if it didn’t turn out as well as expected, he’d leave him and go back home to his wife and his children and his everyday labors,” (Cervantes 294.)Yet somewhere between the windmills, Dorotea’s giant, and his defeat by another knight that Sancho’s identity became wrapped up in Don Quioxte’s. The adventures offered this farmer a kind of authority that he had never previously possessed and he still questioned Don Quixote but his loyalty never faltered.
The complex characters in the contemporary novel Beloved by Toni Morrison discuss key features of identity composition. The character Sethe introduces the concept of self that is based on past experiences, traumatic experiences, and declared roles. Denver possesses no past self and shows how identity can be determined in the present. Paul D exemplifies the role of self-reflection and reemphasizes the importance of declared roles in building a secure self-concept. Each character, even Beloved, provides a new insight into the ideas that fill and consume the main character Sethe as her identity is insecure throughout the piece.
Sethe’s self-declared best thing is her children, specifically Beloved, the child she killed. Does she have a self if the best part of her was killed? Paul D seems to think so. Yet as Sethe is introduced at the start of the novel she has no desire to possess a future. Because Sethe declares Beloved to be her best thing she places her role as mother as her most major component of selfhood. “The best thing she was, was her children. Whites dirty her all right, but not her best thing, her beautiful, magical best thing-the part of her that was clean,” (Morrison 345.) This would be typical of most women yet there seems to be no other declared roles, after Halle’s death Sethe lost the part of herself that identified as a wife and as a woman. This is dangerous as her child Denver cannot understand her mother’s past and fears her; it is her duty as a mother to provide Denver with a future. Sethe’s conceptions of her past are shaped by the trauma of rape, death, loss, and regret. She only truly begins to remember the happier parts of her past as Beloved brings them out of her, yet when Beloved becomes the confirmed symbol of Sethe’s darkest memory Sethe shrinks away with guilt and Beloved seems to feed off her regrets.
This invasion of the past into their lives is the catalyst for Denver’s self-development. Because she is no longer constrained by the fear of her mother or obsessed with gaining attention from her sister, Denver can now leave the house that has been her only constant. She can worry about herself and her mother like a normal teenager. Denver can take action in the present because she is an individual entity, separate from her sister and mother. She acquires food for her family this shows her that she has power and autonomy. With the community helping her she can overcome and gain authority over the household.
Sethe’s rape was the beginning of a major change in her identity. Not needing to possess a self as a slave she had learned to take things as they come and enjoy daily life. Upon marrying Halle she realized that she was a woman with her own feelings, her own thoughts, and her own happiness. She admired Halle and was proud to be his wife and being the wife of a good man meant that she was a good woman. She further proved her prowess as a wife by having children. Her first two children were now toddlers as she planned her escape with Halle. However her plans became more urgent after she was raped and her assailants pillaged the breast milk meant for her children. Something broke in Sethe and she “died” there and rested in the butter that Halle smeared on his face. “I have felt what it felt like and nobody walking or stretched out is going to make you feel it too. Not you, not none of mine, and when I tell you you mine, I also mean I’m yours. I wouldn’t draw breath without my children… My plan was to take us all to the other side,” (Morrison 281.) So Sethe became “milk enough for all” a vessel for her Denver, and the milk her Beloved would need.
Paul D is the model for how some men compartmentalize their emotions; storing them up to “feel” them at a later date. He does this to protect his beating heart, his identity, and to lock away the negative parts of his past. Because of this method of concealing the past Paul D can live in the present and have current action and a present self-identity. With no strong attachments to anything that he can identify himself by, he establishes his own criteria for selfhood. His technique of self-examination is crucial at novel’s end when he reminds Sethe that she is her best thing. Paul D is always thinking about things silently, watching, trying to be what Schoolteacher said he could never be and what Mr. Garner said he was, a man. His self-declaration as a man was tainted when he felt the uncontrolled pressure to have sex with Beloved, he did not want to, yet he did. Once he reassesses himself as a man Paul D could return to Sethe and save what was left of her.
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a masterful work about the social, political, traditional, and paternal constructs of the identity. Okonkwo bases his sense of self on perpetuating opposing traits to his father’s. Without a paternal guide Okonkwo adopts the traditions of his culture and its definitions of masculinity as his paternal guide. Rejecting anything that did not correlate with the clan’s definition of a man Okonkwo became a man of action. So we must do what our fathers would never have done…We must bale this water out now…Okonkwo stood looking at the dead man. He knew that Umuofia would not go to war… They had broken into tumult instead of action… He wiped his machete on the sand and went away,” (Achebe 205.) He was of high regard and had many titles, wives, and yams, each showing his status in his society.
When the politics of Umuofia begin to change and a new government appears Okonkwo’s political identity is challenged. Because his society is not responding to this threat traditionally or in a masculine way Okonkwo’s aggression and pride in his village are diminished. “Dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak,” (Achebe 61.) Okonkwo was a man intent on upholding tradition and he killed Ikemefuna to prove to himself how important his traditions were to his identity. His clan deemed his overall behavior to be exemplary. Yet his son feared him. Nwoye was effeminate. He was still young and had childish ambitions and whims. He was not ready or interested in following in his father’s footsteps because his father had never shown him kindness. In this way Nwoye did not have a father and when the missionaries arrived he was willing to take God as his father, a benevolent father.
In all the novels each author lays the foundations of identity in the sense of community, social influence, tradition, past experiences, and selection of declared roles. With a sense of community comes a collective decision on the values and definitions of identity. With the past comes a need for balance, retention of things that merit the identity and a release of things that slay the concept of self. With roles come responsibility but the main responsibility is to be true to self. Establishing a name, procreating, accumulating material possession and locking the heart away are a few mechanisms used to perpetuate an infinite selfhood, a legacy that will not die with the individual. Understanding and using these mechanisms properly can produce a strong self-concept and a high self-esteem. There are seven billion people on the planet and only one person that everyone identifies as “I”.
Symptoms Of Mental Disorder in Don Quixote Novel
Don Quixote, an avid reader of medieval literature, can often be found pillaging groups of Franciscan monks, charging windmills, or attacking armies of livestock. Though some may justify Don Quixote’s peculiar actions, as he is merely on a quest to fulfil his dream to become a chivalric knight errant, any person learned in the field of psychology would use these abnormal behaviors as symptomatic support for a schizophrenic diagnosis. Cervantes utilized humanistic models to analyze society at a level so low, it had yet to be researched in depth by scholars at the time: mental illness.
The story of Don Quixote took place in 1615 in Spain, though the concept of schizophrenia as a mental illness did not begin to take shape until Dr. Emil Kraepelin, a German doctor often referred to as the founder of modern psychiatry, created the term “dementia praecox” in 1887. This term can be translated to “early dementia” and claims that this type of psychotic behavior could be attributed to a disease in the brain. The name of the modern diagnosis, “schizophrenia”, was coined in 1911 by Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler. The term derives from the word schizo, meaning split, and phrene, meaning mind: this alluded to the observation that schizophrenic patients experienced fragmented thinking, which is an accurate summation of Don Quixote’s methods of thought.
In order to receive a schizophrenic diagnosis, Don Quixote must display symptoms consistent with those listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5). He must display at least two of the following symptoms: hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech, disorganized or catatonic behavior, or negative symptoms. Negative symptoms include negative emotional range, poverty of speech, decreased interest or drive, and increased inertia. One of these two displayed symptoms must be either hallucinations, delusions, or disorganized speech. Furthermore, symptoms must be present for at least six months, with one month of active symptoms. The symptoms must cause social or occupational deterioration issues which cannot be attributed to another condition.
Don Quixote satisfies the first criteria, as he mainly displays hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized behavior. Hallucinations are sensations that appear to be real when, in fact, they are only present in the individual’s mind. Though hallucinations can be perceived through any of the five senses, the two most common in schizophrenic patients are auditory and visual. Throughout the text, Don Quixote is plagued by a plethora of hallucinations that manifest themselves simultaneously as auditory and visual.
One example of these hallucinations is when he comes across two opposing armies of men. He and Sancho travel to higher ground to gain a better vantage point to watch the anticipated battle take place. Don Quixote began describing to his squire many specific individuals on the opposing armies in fantastic detail: he described their armor, color schemes, weapons, and history (128). Though the scene was not extremely clear, as the armies were kicking up a great deal of dust, Sancho was not convinced that these were in fact armies. “Senor, may the devil take me,” his squire explains, “but no man, giant, or knight of all these your grace has mentioned can be seen anywhere around here… I don’t hear anything except the bleating of lots of sheep” (129). Don Quixote is not convinced by this counterargument, and instead acts impulsively in attacking the armies. As a result, he kills over seven sheep and is attacked by the shepherds (130). The fact that Don Quixote’s hallucinatory experiences are vivid enough for act on is a strong indication of his severe schizophrenic symptoms.
Furthermore, Don Quixote also displays delusional behavior as a symptom of schizophrenia. A delusion can be characterized as firmly held ideas that provide no logical evidence; they are often bizarre and fantastical. This behavior is exemplified, as he is under the impression that a great sorcerer—his mortal enemy—is out to destroy him. When he and Sancho encounters a group of “giants”, though they are merely windmills, Don Quixote states the following of his foe:
“I think, and therefore it is true, that the same Freston the Wise who stole my room and my books has turned these giants into windmills in order to deprive me of the glory of defeating them: such is the enmity he feels for me; but in the end, his evil arts will not prevail against the power of my virtuous sword” (59).
Throughout the text, Don Quixote is convinced that many of the negative events that he encounters can only be attributed to the sorcerers that are determined to destroy him. Though Sancho often attempts to appeal to his master using logical rhetoric, Don Quixote is resolutely convinced that these claims are genuine.
Disorganized behavior, which Don Quixote also displays, impacts a person’s ability to perform day-to-day tasks, as well as their ability to interact appropriately with the people around them. One type of disorganized behavior displayed is a lack of inhibition and impulse control. Don Quixote, convinced that all his actions are justified by his duty to uphold the code of chivalric knights, too often acts without prior thought. In one scene, Don Quixote spots what he assumes to be a knight wearing the helmet of Mambrino, though it is only a barber traveling on a donkey with a basin on his head. Holding fast to his chivalric delusions, he acts: “And when he saw the poor gentleman approaching, without saying a word to him, and with Rociante at full gallop, he attacked with lowered pike, intending to run him through” (154). Though in this particular scene, the barber was able to flee the scene safely, Don Quixote’s impulsive action oftentimes results in harm to other people—a clear sign of the severity of his schizophrenic tendencies.
The second criteria of diagnosis states that two of the symptoms displayed must be either hallucinations, delusions, or disorganized speech. As Don Quixote displays both hallucinations and delusions, he also satisfies the second criteria of schizophrenic diagnosis.
The third criteria states that symptoms must be present for at least six months, with one month of active symptoms. Don Quixote set off on his chivalric quest in 1615, and he died soon after his return in 1616. Thus, it can be assumed that his journey, which consisted of his most pronounced active symptoms, lasted longer than one month. Furthermore, the first chapter of the text states that for a long period of time prior to his journey, he was engrossed in the delusions of knighthood.
“His fantasy filled with everything he had read in his books, enchantments as well as combats, battles, challenges, wounds, courtings, loves, torments, and other impossible foolishness, and he became so convinced in his imagination of the truth of all the countless grandiloquent and false inventions he read that for him no history in the world was truer” (21).
Using this introductory chapter as a guideline, it can be presumed that from time Don Quixote began spending night and day engrossed in this alternate reality to the time he returned to his village upon concluding his adventure as a knight, a period of at least six months passed. Therefore, he satisfies the third criteria for a schizophrenic diagnosis.
The final criteria states that the symptoms must cause social or occupational deterioration issues which cannot be attributed to another condition. Cervantes states that Don Quixote spend his days reading novels about knighthood from dawn until dusk day after day. Though he sometimes conversed with the locals in his village, this conversation consisted only of aspects of his novels, indicating that there is a high level of social decline in his behavior. More explicitly exemplified, however, is Don Quixote’s high levels of occupational deterioration. “..this aforementioned gentleman spent his times of leisure—which meant most of the year—reading books of chivalry with so much devotion and enthusiasm that he forgot almost completely about the hunt and even about the administration of his estate” (20). Cervantes continues by stating that Don Quixote became so engrossed in his fantasy, he sold acres of his arable land in order to purchase more books of chivalry. He had no job, aside from his self-administered task to read as much as possible, and therefore had no income, aside from selling portions of his estate. With this fulfillment of the final criteria, Don Quixote can, with reasonable and sufficient support, be diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Critics may argue that Don Quixote is not schizophrenic and does not possess any type of psychological illness, but is instead experiencing a midlife crisis. This crisis develops from thoughts of unsatisfaction with one’s own life and the desire to change one’s surroundings as soon as possible. In the novel, Don Quixote was at the perfect age to experience a midlife crisis, was unsatisfied with his current situation, and changed his life in a hurry. However, this refutation does not account for the illogical delusions and disorganized behavior, as well as the auditory and visual hallucinations, Don Quixote experiences on several occasions throughout his journey. Consequently, I argue that although he may have been experiencing a midlife crisis, this is subordinate to the fact that he displays enough symptoms to be clinically diagnosed with schizophrenia.
One of the main themes of Don Quixote is that belief is a choice and your perception determines your reality. In order to exemplify this type of perspectivism to his readers, Cervantes created a character that displays this characteristic to an absolute extreme. Don Quixote is not simply thinking positively in order to better his life, he is adhering to delusions of grandeur in the effort to fulfill his destiny of becoming a knight errant. By presenting a character that displays this theme to such an extreme, readers are better able to recognize the theme and become inspired to apply it to their own lives.
Though Don Quixote displays sufficient symptoms to be clinically diagnosed with schizophrenia, this does not detract from the main themes and ideologies that Cervantes conveys in the text. It is this humanistic presentation of the lowest level of society, those with mental illness, which was so unique to literature at the time Cervantes published this novel in the 17th century. This “ultimate and most sublime work of human thinking” can be argued to be the catalyst for all fictional literary works concerning mental illness from the 17th century forward (citation). Because of this, I argue that, though fictional, Don Quixote was one of the first case studies of a psychological individual with schizophrenia, and that his symptomatology may have been used to develop the ideas that contributed to Kraepelin’s classification of “dementia praecox” in the 19th century, which thereby supplemented Bleuler’s research and classification of the modern illness, schizophrenia, in the 20th century.
Episode Of Don Quixote’s Encounter With The Duke And Duchess
Don’s Dolorous Demise
It is easy to understand why many see Don Quixote’s encounter with the Duke and Duchess as an episode of aristocrats oppressing innocents. After all, both the Duke and Duchess use their knowledge of Don Quixote’s past to manipulate him for their entertainment. Although events in the novel lend tremendous support to this view, those same events also point to a different interpretation. The ability of the Duke and the Duchess to manipulate Don Quixote partially depends on their knowledge of the first part of his story, which he shaped with his own imagination, fantasies, and delusions. In other words, Don Quixote is a party to his own manipulation; he is partially responsible for it. By focusing on Don Quixote and Sancho’s present suffering and linking it to their past actions, Cervantes uses the Duke and the Duchess to show that the duo is ultimately responsible for its own suffering.
Cervantes first holds the wandering pair responsible for their suffering in his description of their first encounter with the Duchess. Don Quixote and Sancho first meet the Duchess riding in the woods. Cervantes describes the Duchess as dressed “so elegantly and richly that she seemed the very embodiment of elegance” (653). By commenting on her ornate clothing, Cervantes creates the image of a refined aristocrat in both the reader and Don Quixote’s eyes. Based on her clothing, Don Quixote presumes that she belongs to the upper class and treats her as his superior. His deference is so extreme that he tells Sancho to “kiss the hands of her great beauty, and if her highness gives me permission to do so, I shall kiss her hands myself and serve her to the best of my ability and to the extent her highness commands” (654). In this passage, Don Quixote views the Duchess as such a superior to him that he does not approach her himself. Particularly revealing is Don Quixote’s commitment to serve the Duchess “to the extent her highness commands.” This unconditional devotion to a stranger initially seems absurd. Don Quixote assumes that she is someone worth serving based on her clothing, drawing the false conclusion that the price of a person’s clothing reflects her worth. And by committing to fulfill her every command before accurately assessing her character, Don Quixote sets himself up for any abuse she might wish to inflict upon him. In this way, Cervantes holds Don Quixote and Sancho responsible for the abuse they will suffer by highlighting their foolish decision to unconditionally obey a stranger whose intentions remain unknown to them.
Indeed, the Duchess exploits this unfounded optimism when she convinces Sancho to believe his own lie about Dulcinea. When talking with the duennas of the castle, Sancho emphasizes Don Quixote’s delusional tendencies, saying “I can dare to make him believe anything, even if it makes no sense … I mean the enchantment of Senora Dona Dulcinea, because I’ve made him think she’s enchanted, and that’s as true as a fairy tale” (678). This passage shows that Sancho initially recognizes that the story of Dulcinea’s enchantment is a lie. Then, the Duchess exclaims, “our good Sancho, thinking he was the deceiver, is the deceived … let Sancho believe me when I say that the leaping peasant girl was and is Dulcinea of Toboso … and when we least expect it we shall see her in her true form, and then Sancho will be free of the self-deception in which he lives” (681). This passage comes after she tells Sancho that he is crazier than Don Quixote for continuing to follow him despite knowing that he is insane. After making him question his own sanity, the Duchess convinces Sancho that her analysis is correct. Accepting her proposal, Sancho notes “that in only an instant my poor wits could make up so clever a lie” (681). In this exchange, the juxtaposition of Sancho mocking Don Quixote for believing in Dulcinea’s enchantment with his subsequent belief in his own lie indicates a just, if ironic, punishment for lying. By punishing Sancho with the same crime he committed, Cervantes reinforces the notion that Sancho is responsible for his own suffering: had he not lied to Don Quixote he would never have been deceived into believing it at all.
What began as harmless deceptions turns into concrete harm, however, when Sancho faces a wagon allegedly carrying Dulcinea. While still in the woods from a hunting venture, Sancho, Don Quixote, the Duke and the Duchess come across a wagon driven by a man who claims to be Merlin. Merlin informs the knight and his squire that if they wish to disenchant Dulcinea, “Sancho needs to give himself three thousand and three hundred blows upon both of his broad buttocks … struck in such a way that they turn red, and smart, and give him pain” (692). After Sancho points out the missing connection between his backside and the enchantment, the Duke cruelly informs him, “that if you don’t become softer than a ripe fig, you won’t lay hands on [your] governorship” (695). In other words, the Duke uses his position of privilege to coerce Sancho into accepting Merlin’s cruel offer. At this point, it should be clear to Sancho and Don Quixote that the Duke and Duchess have conspired with the wagon-driver to humiliate them for their pleasure.
This realization might prompt one to interpret this incident as one of a master abusing a servant. At this point, the Duke and Duchess both seem to be cruel manipulators, using their knowledge of Don Quixote Part 1 and Sancho’s lie about Dulcinea’s enchantment to deceive these well-meaning men for their pleasure. After witnessing the abusive relationship between the wealthy aristocrats and the poor knights-errant, one could infer that Cervantes is criticizing the aristocracy. For instance, the Duke and Duchess seem to do little other than eat, drink, and hunt. Cervantes never mentions the Duke presiding over any body of government or the Duchess. As such, it is easy to believe that the Duke and Duchess are little more than cruel humans who by chance occupy a social position that allows them to control others. The hard work, honesty, and integrity of Don Quixote and Sancho met with cruelty, on the other hand, contrasts sharply with their aristocratic counterparts. This can cause one to say that Cervantes believes the lower class is unjustly oppressed by a cruel and bored upper class.
Although it would be too much of a stretch to say that this interpretation is wrong, one certainly can make it more nuanced. Sancho is paying the price for the lie about which he was boasting earlier. His decision to deceive Don Quixote about Dulcinea’s enchantment and, more importantly, his decision to tell the Duchess about his lie led to him being deceived. Because he was deceived, he put himself in a position where the Duke and Duchess could coerce him into humiliation by threatening to deprive him of his governorship. For instance, Sancho asks Merlin if he can have two days to decide whether to lash himself, to which Merlin replies “Absolutely not. Here in this instant and in this place the matter must be settled” (695). This reply creates added pressure on Sancho, who ultimately caves to Merlin’s request and consciously says, “I consent to my bad fortune; I say that I accept the penance, with the conditions that have been stated” (696). At this point, Cervantes uses Sancho’s reply to reintroduce the notion that Sancho is, at the heart, responsible for what happens to him. 3,300 lashes to disenchant a fake princess that is not enchanted in the first place hardly seems fair, but rather than attempting to escape or renegotiate, Sancho accepts his fate and “consents to [his] bad fortune” because, at heart, he knows that he is responsible for this suffering.
The question remains, however: why does it matter that Don Quixote and Sancho are indirectly responsible for their suffering? The aforementioned example pits Don Quixote against Sancho; Don Quixote wishes Sancho to undergo the lashings for the sake of Dulcinea while Sancho initially moans that Dulcinea “can go to her grave enchanted!” (692). While Don Quixote and Sancho suffer at the hands of the watching aristocrats and by their own hands, the Duke and Duchess escape unscathed. Cervantes’ message here might be that the lower classes spend too much time idolizing the upper classes, as Don Quixote did when he first saw the Duchess in the woods, and fighting among themselves to achieve anything. If this is the case, then Cervantes would also be suggesting that the lower class is responsible for its own suffering. This warrants further investigation into Cervantes’ Don Quixote, beyond merely its commentary on literature. The idea that Don Quixote and Sancho are indirectly responsible for what happens to them as a result of their willful or accidental delusions should prompt us to investigate the economic criticism Cervantes included in an age of burgeoning capitalism. More specifically, a further analysis of how economic status informs the interactions between characters might reveal that the lower class orchestrates its own dolorous demise by staying captive to the upper class and fighting among itself, thereby suffering the consequences of its own misdeeds.
Confidence And Identity in “Don Quixote” By Miguel Cervantes
In his story “Don Quixote”, Miguel Cervantes narrates a story of a man who gets lost in a fantasy world that he created from believe he was something he wasn’t. Cervantes introduces us to a character that seeks chivalrous adventures to fulfill his delusions of being a knight. Compared to Geoffrey Chancer’s introduction to the Wife of Bath in “The Canterbury Tales”, as a “loathsome old hag” who is traveling through with the pardoners, she comes across as very confident and proud. She describes herself as an expert on marriage. Both stories emphasis on these characters is that they believe they are more than what they really are and have the confidence in themselves but show that they are also very proud and over-confident which can either be good or bad traits. The identities of the character, Don Quixote and the Wife of Bath are made known to us as possibly being overly self-confident and slightly delusional.
Identity can be described as behavioral or personal characteristics that make them who they are. The author uses individual qualities to make the characters in the story relatable to the readers to captivate them and make the story significant.
In Don Quixote, he is a middle-aged man, who becomes engrossed in books on chivalry and stories of bravery, courage, and valor. He gets so consumed by these stories that he begins to believe to be a part of them. Before he sets out on a journey, he cleans a suit of armor, makes a visor, renames his old horse and creates a love interest from a farmer girl that he had a previous infatuation with. He would get into disagreements with people in the town that disputed his claims of who he thought that he was. “Once his wits were gone, he conceived the strangest notion any madman had ever conceived, namely, he deemed it necessary and proper, not only for the increase of his own honor but as a service to his country, to become a knight-errant and travel throughout the world”. This imagination of Don Quixote creates a madman, who believes that he is something that he is not and has made up his own truths.
Overconfidence plays a huge role in Don Quixote because he has the faith in himself to set off in his quests. The author of the book portrays Don Quixote as someone who is not only doing this for himself but for the fame as well. The passion he has of living out this fantasy gives him the reassurance that he is destined to be a legendary knight. “In quest of adventures, performing all those deeds he had seen knights in his book perform…righting all manner of wrongs and exposing himself to battles and dangers so that by resolving them he would win for himself everlasting fame and renown”. He at one point after setting out does have a moment of clarity but it is still in a delusional state of mind and he then convinces or reasons with himself that he must continue to be the chivalrous knight that he identifies himself to be. “Thoughts caused him to vacillate in his resolve, but his madness being more persuasive than his arguments”.
Don Quixote lives within his own mind and when seeking out what he believes to be true that he takes on an identity that people either mock him or play along with his thoughts of what is make believe because he thought these stories to be true and he is determined to get others to believe in him to prove himself and become the celebrated knight. “Fortunate the age and fortunate the epoch in which these famous deeds of mine shall come to light worthy of being cast in bronze sculpted in marble and painted on canvas as a future memorial”. There was no one or no thing that could convince him to stop the nonsense of his fantasy thinking. Cervantes wants the readers to feel that if they have enough faith in themselves that it is stronger than strength.
In “The Canterbury Tales” the Wife of Bath prologue Chaucer introduces the readers to a character whose is revealed in an almost outrageous stunning way. She speaks of virginity and sex and using sex to manipulate to get what she wants. She believes herself to be the expert on all manners of marriage and being a wife. She establishes this theory of herself because of her experience and throughout her speaking she uses words from scripture or her own view on scriptures and their meanings to create an image of herself of an authority. “My life gives me authority, enough and more, it seems to me, to speak of all the woe in marriage”. During the conversation, she has some feminist qualities but she then she tells the pardoners that she gains the ultimate power through her verbal and sexual power. She speaks of how if biblical men could have many wives at one time why couldn’t she, why can’t she use sex as a power to have the control. She had 5 husbands that three were good and two were bad but the last one to be the most rewarding of them all because he did not give all his attention to her and when she stood up for herself he struck her making him feel guilty that she then had the rule of him.
One of the pardoners reveals that he is afraid of his upcoming nuptials because of what she has disclosed of a woman who is manipulative and uses the sex to get what she wants but she then reassures him to listen to her story before making any decisions. As she begins her story, she again claims to be the authority on marriage “Five husbands have perfected me”. Her identity is shown through her character and the qualities that she is forceful and dominating over men. She will not acknowledge any defeat. “I live my life in open trust and use my wifely instrument without restraint as it was sent”.
As she continues with her proclamation trying to reassure the pardoners that she is justified in her actions she describes that for the understanding of wives on how to treat their husbands, that “her gift is to swear and lie” and that she should make sure her husband can trust her. Essentially, she was youthful and takes joy in the manipulation.
That because of being able to lie, use her body to torment them, refusing them until they made promises to her she felt she held the upper hand. She validates that this was acceptable. “I swear by God omnipotent, I’ll say in my last testament, I gave back every word I owed. I made my tongue so sharp a goad. They had to yield-I’d never cease or give up any hope of peace. They snapped and snarled, you understand, but knew I had the upper hand. …A good man should be mild and meek, wrapped in patience like a robe. I’ve heard you say you honor Job”. She speaks this to the pardoners as almost a word of advice that they must be patient and giving to their wives should they accept that in return, when she states “No doubt you understand this tale. Prepare to pay; it’s all for sale. No empty hand can lure a hawk; for money, though, I’d never balk”. Chaucer in this section of the book is showing us a character that is sure of herself, her knowledge, her experience and it has shaped who she is and how she has lived throughout her life that she is superior to the men that she surrounds herself with.
Both stories give the readers an impression that the characters show confidence in themselves. That they are certain of themselves and their abilities but show us that they are strong-willed and determined as well and show a degree of arrogance. They both feel the need to be strong, the need to prove themselves to others. Don Quixote shows us that since he believed himself to be a courageous knight-errant and he needed to show doubters that he is destined to be just that. In “The Canterbury Tales”, the Wife of Bath needs to assert her authority over the pardoners that she is the expert of marriages and how wives need to act. She is very conceited and has an uncompromising attitude towards men. Each character shows us likeable and unlikeable character traits that make us as readers be able to relate.
A Delusional Perspective And Honorable Chivalry by the Main Character In Don Quixote By Miguel De Cervantes
In Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote, the major motifs portrayed throughout the novel are honorable chivalry and the delusional perception of which Don Quixote views the world as enchanted. On several accounts throughout the story it becomes apparent that despite being delusional, Don Quixote reveals many positive qualities such as honor and chivalry. He displays courage, loyalty and determination throughout his many adventures, even when it is obvious that his perception of the world is from an impractical standpoint. Don Quixote de la Mancha drives himself mad out of the misapprehension that the world he lived in should be one as full of adventure as what he had read so much about in his books of knights and chivalry. Rather than coping with the idea that he was living in the traditional norm, he decided to view life in different more eccentric terms and create an enchanted world in which he was a knight errant setting off to find many significant adventures to proclaim honor. Although Don Quixote creates imaginative fascinations involving his absolute love and devotion to Dulcinea, his quests and adventures that he pursues, and in the more trivial every day encounters, he demonstrates many noble and chivalrous attributes despite his madness.
Upon declaring his state as a knight errant, Don Quixote asserts that he must have a great lady in which he may preform honorable deeds in the name of. Aldonza Lorenzo, a peasant farm girl whom Don Quixote loved yet hardly knew became renamed in his mind as the Dulcinea del Toboso whom Don Quixote praised and dedicated his every endeavor in the name of her honor. When Don Quixote later runs across a group of merchants, he requested to have them confess the ultimate beauty of Dulcinea, without even ever seeing what she looked like. “Everyone stop right now and confess that there’s no more beautiful a maiden in the world than the empress of La Mancha, the peerless Dulcinea del Toboso! (42-43).” Although his demand was not fulfilled, and the beauty of Dulcinea not formally recognized by the group of merchants, they left him beaten with a broken lance and face down in the dirt however Don Quixote remains confident and loyal in his devotion to his ideal lady. When Don Quixote talks to Vivaldo about his love that he serves, he speaks of Dulcinea del Toboso in the most thoughtful and compassionate terms. “Her rank must be at least that of a princess… her beauty superhuman, since in her are made real all the impossible and chimerical attributes of beauty that poets give to their ladies (101).” Again, Don Quixote speaks of Dulcinea as though she is his inspiration and reason for living, despite the fact that she is only a common peasant and knows nothing of him.
Through his journey, Don Quixote comes across many adventurous quests, which seem of high importance, however is essentially another way his self-deceptive way of thinking creates significance out of ordinary situations. When Don Quixote first sets off, he crosses paths with the farmer beating his shepherd, thinking that the farmer is a knight, and that he is in fact doing good for the young boy by confronting the farmer about paying the boy, he actually makes it worse as the farmer continues to beat the boy harder after Don Quixote leaves. The Famous scene with the Windmills that Don Quixote mistakes as giants, is another prime example of how Don Quixote misconstrues reality in hopes of getting rich and clearing the earth of evil. Granted the fact that Don Quixote is imagining the windmills as evil giants, he continues to follow his brave notion to attack them. This bold action is still deemed necessary, even after his defeat and his conclusion that they must have been changed into windmills by the enchanter who stole his books at the last minute in order to take away Don Quixote’s glory of conquering them. The next major wrong that Don Quixote plans to right, was the incident with the Monks, carrying a lady to meet with her husband, who he mistakes for enchanters kidnapping a princess. “I have to right this wrong with all of my might (68).” Even when Sancho tries to inform Don Quixote that the situation is not in fact what he believes it to be, Don Quixote stays strong by his word and tells him that he was not wrong and that Sancho knows “little about the subject of adventures (68).” For this episode Don Quixote gets a split ear, and no justification of correcting any wrong that was ever done. When Rocinante is beaten by a large group of Yanguesan muleteers, Don Quixote daringly insisted that he and Sancho should fight them because they would surly win. “I’m worth a hundred (116).” Although they lose this battle, and Don Quixote resolves that is was only because he drew his sword toward to men without a noble ranking status that he was defeated. Don Quixote again thinks he will have a chance to show off his strength and fearlessness when he inaccurately concludes that two large clouds of dust that came from sheep where actually two armies at battle with one another, in which he would take as a challenge. Although Don Quixote feels that this is an ultimately heroic act, he actually ends up killing several sheep and is rewarded by having stones thrown at him by the shepherds, knocking out his teeth. Don Quixote feels that it is his job “to set forced actions right and succor and aid poor wretches (180).” This being true, he decided to help free a group of prisoners because they were taken by force. Even after he is warned by Sancho, he disregards his advisement and goes on to break them loose, remaining loyal to his knightly purpose. Don Quixote is again, met with an insult regardless of his good intentions.
Throughout the entire story of Don Quixote, he countlessly transforms the mundane into the eccentric. At every possible chance of stimulating the world through his eyes by converting his surroundings into the more fascinating, Don Quixote takes advantage of. From the beginning, he decides that he must come up with a better name for himself, his mistress Dulcinea del Toboso, and Rocinante. His horse was only a skinny old mare, but in his head, Rocinante was the finest steed that ever was. Sancho Panza was a poor, illiterate, stubby man, who Don Quixote would have as his faithful and suitable squire. Don Quixote mistakes inns for castles, and innkeepers for knights. Any lady that he may come across seems to him a fair princess that should be graciously served as such. When Don Quixote sees the barber with a basin on his head to protect him from the rain, he assumes that it is a great knight wearing a Mambrino’s helmet and is determined to get it from him. When he does, and Sancho laughs at him for wearing the basin, he makes the explanation that it was in the wrong hands, and had been melted down into a basin; however it was still a magnificent Mambrino’s helmet, in another form.
All the way through Miguel De Cervantes’ novel of Don Quixote, it should be noted that Don Quixote always had an elucidation for the unordinary and made things much more enchanted than they were in reality. Although he was evidentially an irrational madman due to a considerable amount of reading literature of tales of chivalrous knights and courtly romance, Don Quixote expressed many noble characteristics such as honor to his word, devotion to his love, and loyalty to his proclaimed knighthood in every aspect from his love to his many adventures and to the trivial particulars he faced on a daily basis.
Declaring Mysteries: Narration, Translation, and the Figure of the Interpreter in Don Quixote
Professor Kathryn Vomero Santos is a scholar of English literature who introduces and analyzes the question of what Don Quixote teaches us in the history and theory of interpretation from his novel. Despite the structure and theme of Don Quixote, it is known as a modern novel in all honors.
The lesson taught about Don Quixote is that there is value in all people despite political positions, worldview, weight, age, etc. In the novel, Don, who strives to be a heroic knight, reveals how ludicrous these old-fashioned notions can be to those who have overcome living in today’s life. It is inaccurate to assume that “Don’t lose touch with reality”, is moralistic of the story, because Don’s tale is not glorified, but portrayed almost as a mockery and the outcome of a cultural formation which has run its sequence. With the idea of Don Quixote novel, it also portrays a rich term of old interpretations. It captures how translation works in the political and personal domain. It exampled the world “trujamán” in the meaning of an interpreter which was originated from Arabic. In the novel, Don also played the role of a bilingual who was started to be label as untrustable as he gained more knowledge in being able to speak not only Spanish but also Arabic fluently. He went over his guide in how much the people should trust the narrative interpreter by using the oral and writing of Arabic.
Since the novel was based on the language of Spanish, the people were only in use of trusting the ladino speaker which Don did bring his story back from Arabic. In conclusion, as we go back into Professor Vomero purpose of what this novel has taught us and indeed it has allowed us to understand the situation that occurred in early Spain in the art of storytelling. It demonstrates us that fictional is not just something that can be told mechanical but instead by an interpreter; storytelling on behalf of others or even themselves. On behalf of translating, do you think when interpreters have to explain an idiom to others, they tend to offend people since idioms can be comprehended has a different type of understanding to people?
The Concept of Liberty in Servantes’ Novel
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 dwelling” (41). But if conceived in an Iron Age of limited religious, social, and intellectual freedoms as the product of Cervantes’s own poverty and privation, Don Quixote liberates himself through his transformative capacity, first of his will and imagination and later of his reason. Alongside this is the parallel tale of the squire’s own pilgrimage to personal freedom. Cervantes uses the characters Don Quixote and Sancho Panza to advance his argument for liberty in literature and society, and when this is not possible, in the individual.
Don Quixote can be read not as an “invective against the books of chivalry” but as an invective against the abuse of literature (46). As Part I opens, Don Quixote has “stumbled upon the oddest fancy that ever entered a madman’s brain,” one that moves him to take up arms as a knight-errant and venture out into the world, “redressing all manner of wrongs” (59). He is enslaved to a chivalric fiction, though this is a fiction of his own narration: he chooses what he sees, turning inns into castles, wenches into ladies-in-waiting, and giants into windmills. To the point of fault, Don Quixote is irreverent not only to the constraints of society but to its demands; thus, his liberty develops only as his idealism begins to wane in Part II. Here, Cervantes continues to manipulate the motif of conflicting authorship and duality of characters to establish his quarrel between reality and fantasy.
As Don Quixote begins to recognize that his life is descending into a staged presentation of himself, his defiance grows. He shows less willingness to serve for the enjoyment of others, for the Dukes and Duchesses and Don Antonios of the world. As he writes in his letter to Sancho Panza, “when it comes to the point, I must comply with my profession rather than with their pleasure” (895). In a faintly concealed assertion of Cervantes’s own authorial liberty and command, Don Quixote acts in defiance of the actions set forth in the false sequel by Avellaneda, who has brought the knight to Saragossa. Don Quixote proclaims, “For that reason, I will not set foot in Saragossa, and so the forgery of this new historian shall be exposed to the eyes of the world, and mankind will be convinced that I am not the Don Quixote of whom he speaks” (953). Don Quixote asserts his freedom by refusing to be merely a character proposed by another, losing his own identity in the process. However, at this point, he is still not truly free but only a character proposed by himself.
It is in his death, when all delusion releases him, that Don Quixote’s liberty achieves its highest form. He dies as his own master, who, “though he was conquered by another, nevertheless conquered himself” (1038). It is not the contrivance of the “Knight of the White Moon” that ultimately frees Don Quixote but rather his own mind; he dies renouncing his knight-errantry and with his judgment “clear and unfettered” (1045). Should the Don’s journey therefore be viewed simply as one that takes him from the bondage of living in an idyllic past to the freedom of an “unfettered” mind Cervantes seems to suggest otherwise, passing his final judgment on Don Quixote through the mouthpiece of Sansn Carrasco, who writes in the epitaph for the hero’s tomb:
He reck’d the world of little prize
And was a bugbear in men’s eyes
But had the fortune in his age
To live a fool and die a sage (1049).Both the life of the fool and the death of a sage are acts of Don Quixote’s own free will; it is his immense fortune, in an Iron Age that constrains ideas, to have lived and died both. The novel takes the knight from an imaginative liberty that “reck’d the world of little prize”to a liberated and rational reality. Cervantes believes that both types of liberty embodied by Don Quixote, of the imagination and of reason, have value for the reader in claiming one’s life as one’s own. Earlier in the novel Sansn tells the knight that “his life did not belong to him, but to all those who needed him to protect them in their misfortunes”554). But in his defiant life and defiant death, when those around him are hesitant to relinquish him and to end the charades, Don Quixote proves that his life does belong to himself, both as the Knight of the Rueful Figure and as Alonso Quixano the Good. He is its sole author as the knight and its sole savior as Alonso.
But the novel is not just the romance of a strong individual character, Don Quixote, who affirms the possibility of freedom in a constraining environment. Within Cervantes’s treatment of the theme of liberty are many layers that support and articulate the others. Although Cervantes does profess an explicit goal to overthrow “the ill-based fabric of these books of chivalry” through his satire of the genre, he tries to reconcile this with his belief that literature can be liberating to the reader (47).
This is accomplished not only through his account of Don Quixote as an imaginatively liberated figure but also through Sancho Panza, who discovers his freedom along the way and forces us to reflect on our own. As Sancho Panza sets out in Part I, Cervantes describes him as a “laboring man . . . with very little wit in his pate,” a “poor wight”who is coerced into playing the role of squire for Don Quixote (95). Yet, even as Sancho sets out, his subsequent development is foreshadowed by the image Cervantes gives us of Sancho astride “his ass like a patriarch” (96). The image at this point in the novel is comical, but should not be dismissed because it prefigures Sancho’s move to grasp the autonomous rule of his own, if humble, domain.
This move is symbolically represented by Sancho’s forsaking of his governorship and return to Dapple, the “friend and partner of [his] toils and troubles” (909). As Sancho says, “Make way, gentlemen, and let me return to my former liberty. Let me go in search of the life I left, and rise again from this present death” (909). Sancho would rather “rest under a shady oak in the summer and wrap [himself] up in tough sheepskin in winter, at [his] own sweet will, than lie down, with the slavery of a government, in holland sheets”(910). The squire recognizes the sweet drudgery of ruling himself. If he follows Don Quixote now, it will not be because of ambition but because of his “own sweet will;” because, as he tells the squire of the Knight of the Wood, “love him as I love the cockles of my heart, and I can’t invent a way of leaving him, no matter what piece of foolishness he does” (613).
Sancho’s association with the Don has not only brought him to an understanding of his own personal liberty, but it gives him something of the imaginative liberty the knight fiercely displays. No longer the “poor wight,” Sancho in his ingenuity deceives his master in the adventure of the fulling-hammers and later transforms a peasant girl into Lady Dulcinea by invoking the knight’s own panacea of enchantment. When Ricote questions the possibility of Sancho’s governorship of his island by telling him, “Hush, Sancho, islands lie out in the sea; there are none of them on the mainland,” Sancho replies, “Why not?”(917). In this single statement, Sancho incorporates both his master’s defiance and his insistence on the sovereignty of his own will.
But Sancho’s pilgrimage is not simply one toward self-awareness. It also encompasses Cervantes’s subtle criticism of his time, an era of oppressive class structures and limited speech. In Part I, Cervantes presents a disturbing episode of the whipping of the servant-boy Andrs that is left unresolved and worsened by Don Quixote’s involvement. This is a dark portrait both of the destructive potential of Don Quixote’s delusion and the incorrigibility of the provincial social structure. The knight’s renunciation of his disillusion solves the first problem, but what of the second? Cervantes offers some resolution in Part II, when Don Quixote attempts to whip Sancho in order to disenchant Dulcinea. The possibility of physical violence in this scene is reminiscent of the violence suffered by Andrs.
Sancho overpowers the Don, who cries, “How, traitor! Do you dare raise a hand against your master and against the hand that feeds you?” Sancho replies, “I neither mar king nor make king. I only defend myself, who am my lord. If you promise me, master, that you’ll let me alone and not try to whip me, I’ll set you free” (956). In this parable of the reversal of roles, Cervantes indulges in a type of wish fulfillment where the limits on freedom “here the fabricated norms of knight-errantry but also the norms of a hierarchical society” disintegrate. As Sancho questions authority and asserts his own basic rights, Cervantes questions the limits on human freedom in society even while conceding that these limits exist.
The suppression of speech is a secondary target of Cervantes’s social commentary articulated through Sancho. Don Quixote tells Sancho,”you must abstain and curb your desire for so much talk with me in the future, for never in any of the innumerable books of chivalry I have read have I found a squire who talked to his master as much as you do to yours” (196). But although Don Quixote takes his squire to be “a perverter of good language,” Sancho recognizes that his words, even when lacking in precision and laced in proverbs, are no worse than the “balderdash” his master spouts about knight-errantry and enchantments (661, 693).
“I know you, Sancho,” replied Don Quixote, “so, I pay no heed to your words.”
“No more do I to yours,” said Sancho, “even though you beat me or kill me for those I’ve spoken or mean to speak if you don’t correct and mend your own” (693).
Sancho’s unwillingness to compromise his free speech leaves the reader of Don Quixote with a lasting consciousness of and appreciation for Sancho’ speech in all its idiosyncrasies. Because the squire’s words persist, the series of exchanges between master and squire on the matter of speech are not merely humorous, but testify to the triumph of speech over a force that threatens to suppress it, a force not nearly as restraining as the literary censorship of the Spanish Inquisition but suggestive of it. Through the course of the novel, Sancho develops an awareness of his own worth and autonomy, circumvents the master-servant relationship, and makes a case for freedom of speech. Cervantes presents Sancho’s journey to freedom with a bittersweet longing that this could be the case for each “poor wight”(95).
Don Quixote and Sancho Panza are complementary characters that together express Cervantes’s commitment to the cause of liberty, both in society and in literature, where ideas should be given free reign. Don Quixote’s journey shows that both the imagination and the mind are liberating “if one can have the fortune both “to live a fool and die a sage”(1049). Sancho brings this concept further, illustrating that the individual can liberate himself. As Don Quixote leaves the castle of the duke and duchess, he turns to his squire and says, “Liberty, Sancho, my friend, is one of the most precious gifts that Heaven has bestowed on mankind…
For liberty, as well as for honor, man ought to risk his life, and he should reckon captivity the greatest evil life can bring” (934)2E Perhaps this is the attraction of knight-errantry to Don Quixote: the disciplined rule of self and the crusade to emancipate the oppressed. His is that “noble mind . . . ranging freely” in the castles of his imagination before coming home and liberating itself (935). But if Don Quixote breaks free from the prison in which he was conceived, perhaps Sancho does so even more. Throughout the novel he advances his personal liberty, and when he returns to La Mancha, the reader remembers the image of the squire atop “his ass like a patriarch”(96). But this time the image is not just a caricature but an affirmation of the fiercely individualistic freedom he has found and that is available to us all.
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 general, the Fool will say something nonsensical, or act seemingly illogically, and then explain his words and/or actions to let the reader know that he is actually the wisest man in the play. In the case mentioned above the Fool unexplainably offers his coxcomb to Kent. At first it seems that the Fool is just being foolish, for even the King cannot figure out the meaning of the Fool’s action and words. After he explains himself, however, the reader realizes that the Fool is not only not a fool, but in fact has a sharper wit than the King’s.A similar situation presents itself in Cervante’s Don Quixote. Even more so than King Lear, Don Quixote is out of his mind, and even though his squire, Sancho Panza, is constantly trying to help Don Quixote recapture his wits by pointing out his various insane hallucinations, Don Quixote generally refuses to listen to his inferior servant. It should be noted that both a king’s fool and a knight’s squire are positions of servitude; the fool is used for entertainment purposes while the squire is a sort of knight janitor (pun intended). But as both Shakespeare and Cervantes point out, these servants of powerful men are being used for the wrong purposes, and their words of wisdom are brushed aside by the men who need them most. If King Lear and Don Quixote had listened to their “foolish” servants, they both would have been spared great pain, and ultimately their lives.By the end of both King Lear and Don Quixote the reader is left wondering: why were the idiots the kings and knights while the true wise men were the fools and squires? There are innumerable explanations for why Shakespeare and Cervantes both chose this particular form of irony. One explanation that is made particularly evident in both works is that the ironic reversal of roles, where the leaders are the fools and the servants the wise men, illustrates the injustices suffered by the lower classes, not because they are intellectually inferior, but because they lack money. There are many scenes throughout Don Quixote which highlight the fact that Sancho Panza never would have agreed to the continual suffering and terrible mishaps his master exposed him to unless there was an economic reward, in this case an island, promised to him. Likewise, in King Lear, the Fool must stay with his master even though he knows his master has “grown foppish” (1.4.171).Despite their lack of wealth, however, both the Fool and the Squire are wise enough to realize that they are better off intelligent and poor rather than rich and crazy. Furthermore, suppression of their intelligence is a necessary part of their jobs. The Fool lets the reader know of his wise decision to refrain from exhibiting his real intelligence through the words of his song “Have more than thou showest/Speak less than thou knowest” (1.4.122-3), as well as when he says “I had rather be any kind of thing than a Fool. And yet I would not be thee, nuncle” (1.4.189-91). In Don Quixote we see that even though Sancho Panza desires economic prosperity, he is comfortable with his peasant status: “Even if it’s only bread and onion that I eat in my corner without bothering about table manners and ceremonies, it tastes to me a great deal better than turkey at other tables where I have to chew slowly…” (85). For all his failures at social graces, Sancho realizes that it is better to be a peasant with no table manners than a gentleman who is so concerned with conventions and etiquette that he loses his mind.Even though both the Fool and the squire both realize that their livelihoods depend on masking the fact that they are more intelligent than their masters, there are times when they break through the character mold of the submissive servant. In King Lear the Fool comes dangerously near to letting the King know he is being mocked when the Fool says “The sweet and bitter fool/Will presently appear/The one in motley here/The other found out there” (1.4.148-51). In this line the Fool is arguing that he is a “sweet fool”, because he is aware of when he is being foolish, and thus wears a “motley” or jester’s costume. The King, who cannot realize his folly until after he has done something foolish is the “bitter fool”. After the Fool points this out the King asks “Dost thou call me a fool’ boy?” (1.4.151) and the Fool quickly comes up with another joke to put the King’s mind at ease. Later in the scene, however, the King threatens to have the Fool whipped (1.4.185).A similar situation arises between Don Quixote and Sancho Panza during their adventure in which they remain paralyzed in fear for a full night of what they discover in the morning to be six fulling-hammers. After this discovery Sancho Panza is so amused by the superfluous exclamations of gallantry and bravado Don Quixote had given the night before that he laughs until “he had to hold his sides for fear of bursting” (p. 158). Like King Lear, however, Don Quixote is quite angered at being mocked by his own servant. Cervantes writes “When Don Quixote realized that Sancho was making fun of him, he got so furiously angry that he lifted his lance and dealt him two blows which would have relieved the master of the duty of paying his squire’s wages…had they caught him on the head” (p.158). Even though the servants in both works dare to mock their masters for a moment, it is short-lived, and they quickly resume their obedient roles.As Shakespeare writes in another one of his plays, Twelfth Night “This fellow’s wise enough to play the fool/And to do that well craves a kind of wit” (3.1.68). For all of their shortcomings, the Fool and Sancho Panza both have a certain kind of wit that allows them to survive their masters’ insane outbursts. One of the greatest ironies in both of these books is that the master demands the servant to serve, and he does, but not in the way that would best help the master. In other words both King Lear and Don Quixote would have been much better off had they employed their servants as respected advisors. In both works these servants had much more common sense than the masters who employed them.Finally, the relationship between a fool and a king (or in Cervantes’ case a knight and his squire) can be compared to a jester’s hat and a king’s crown. A jester’s hat, or coxcomb, is typically made of cloth, and is adorned with bells, while a king’s crown is made of gold and precious gems. Both hats are gaudy and attract a lot of attention. The king’s crown, however is precious and valuable, whereas the flimsy jester’s cap just makes noise. As Shakespeare and Cervantes have shown, however, people have a tendency to respect the hat, and not the head beneath it, when judging character and intelligence.