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Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel De Don Quixote

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Don Quixote

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Don Quixote is considered a masterpiece, probably the most influential work wrought from the Spanish Golden Age. The novel regularly appears on lists outlining the greatest books ever written or books to read before you die, and for good reason: Cervantes has forged something special. The novel pursues the adventures of Alonso Quixano, an avid reader of chivalric romances, tales of justice, and similar prose. In fact, he is so consumed with this type of prose, his reality tends to bend in favor of living within that realm as opposed to “real life.” Many critics have narrowed Alono Quixano’s (Don Quixote) obsession with chivalric prose as an indication of insanity, an obsession with bringing justice to the world, sometimes even when injustice is not present. Don Quixote recruits a farmer by the name of Sancho Panza as his squire, who acts as constant reminder of the reality Don Quixote has foregone in lieu of a more dramatic reality. Ultimately, whether Don Quixote’s preference to adopt a false reality is intentional or not, the issue of his insanity remains trivial to the epic nature of the adventures they embark upon. Does one need to justify Don Quixote’s behavior to be convinced by it, to foster immersion? Would knowing Don Quixote’s alleged insanity was intentional or not change the reader’s perception of the protagonist in a significant way? Often critics who imagine Don Quixote’s adventure a result of actively choosing fantasy over reality is an indication and celebration of nihilism. Perhaps choosing imagination over reality can be positive in some circumstances. Perhaps choosing imagination over reality over the course of a lifetime causes more people to pause. The fact remains it is ultimately the reader’s duty to investigate this question, for it remains at the foreground of an epic adventure.

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