The Aeneid, Canterbury Tales And Don Quixote

1713 WordsSep 6, 20167 Pages
Freedom and Independence in The Aeneid, Canterbury Tales and Don Quixote In the modern world, the concept of independence has become convoluted, and “freedom” has turned into a buzzword employed for far-reaching, often invasive political purposes. At their core, these ideas require cooperation and consideration of neighboring ideologies. When looking at Virgil’s Aeneid, The Wife of Bath’s prologue and tale from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and Cervantes’ Don Quixote—three works from different periods and different parts of Europe—we see in each a protagonist seeking freedom and independence on a different scale, but with similarly humanistic goals. By exploring the pursuits of each protagonist; Aeneas, the Wife of Bath and Don Quixote respectively, we learn that the human desire for freedom is complex and multilayered. Aeneas’ journey to re-establish a homeland for his defeated people illustrates our need for cultural and political sovereignty, while the story of The Wife of Bath progressively demonstrates the importance of marital freedom and its reliance on gender equality. Don Quixote and his squire, Sancho Panza exemplify ideological freedom; the importance of constructing an identity based on one’s own set of beliefs and values. When Aeneas and the Trojan people set out from their conquered city after suffering defeat at the hands of the Greeks, they do so with the goal of establishing a new homeland. The question of what constitutes a suitable homeland is

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