Miguel de Cervantes: The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha

1794 Words Jan 26th, 2018 7 Pages
Internationally recognised as Cervantes’s masterpiece, the work was published in the early seventeenth century during the European Renaissance period, hallmarking the Spanish Golden Age of literature as “the first modern novel” in the history of writing. One may naturally wonder then, what exactly are the radical components of Don Quixote that gives it the element of “modernity” which raises its values up above all the precedent literary works of earlier centuries?
Perhaps the first thing to consider is the rapid social movement of the period in which the novel was written. Don Quixote was published during, literally, a “turn of the century,” where, under the influence of new scientific discoveries, Europe was being forced to change their conceptions of the entire universe; that of both physical and cosmological. The best example would be Columbus’s discovery of the New World, which, as well as confirming that the Earth is physically round, proved that the centuries-old Western belief of mankind being the centre of the universe was faulty. Suddenly, the society’s paradigm is disrupted, and people find themselves placed in a tumultuous world of ambiguity and doubt; as the relationship between man and…
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