Cervantes - Don Quixote Essay

1113 Words 5 Pages
Cervantes' greatest work, Don Quixote, is a unique book of

multiple dimensions. From the moment of its appearance it

has amused readers or caused them to think, and its

influence has extended in literature not only to works of

secondary value but also to those which have universal

importance. Don Quixote is a country gentleman, an

enthusiastic visionary crazed by his reading of romances of

chivalry, who rides forth to defend the oppressed and to

right wrongs; so vividly was he presented by Cervantes that

many languages have borrowed the name of the hero as the

common term to designate a person inspired by lofty and

impractical ideals.

The theme of the book, in brief, concerns Hidalgo Alonso

Quijano, who, because of his
…show more content…
Considerations of general

morality thus become intermingled with the psychological

and aesthetic experience of each individual reader in a way

that vastly stimulated the development of the literary genre

later known as the novel, and Fielding, Dickens, Flaubert,

Stendhal, Dostoyevsky, and many others have thus been

inspired by Cervantes. In Madame Bovary, is Gustave

Flaubert, for example, the heroine changes the orientation

of her life because she, like Don Quixote, has read her

romances of chivalry, the romantic novels of the nineteenth

century.

Cervantes demonstrated to the Western world how poetry

and fantasy could coexist with the experience of reality

which is perceptible to the senses. He did this by

presenting poetic reality, which previously had been

confined to the ideal region of dream, as something

experienced by a real person, and the dream thus became

the reality of any man living his dream. Therefore, the

trivial fact that a poor hidalgo loses his reason for one cause

or another is of little importance. The innovation is that

Don Quixote's madness is converted into the theme of his

life and into a theme for the life of other people, who are

affected as much by the madness of the hidalgo as is he

himself. Some want him to revert to his condition of a

peaceful and sedentary hidalgo; others would like him to

keep on amusing or stupefying people with his deeds,
Open Document