Cervantes - Don Quixote Essay

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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,
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