Don Quixote - The Relevance of the Ingenious Gentleman Today Essay

Don Quixote - The Relevance of the Ingenious Gentleman Today Essay

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Many people have trouble connecting the terms ‘classic novel’ and ‘humorous’. However, when reminded of the adventures of the ingenious hidalgo of La Mancha, many will be able to make the connection. The diversity, wit, charm, humor, and philosophy presented in the novel make it one of the most famous novels ever written. Don Quixote, written by Miguel de Cervantes focuses on the titular, self-proclaimed knight-errant and his squire Sancho Panza’s adventures prompted by the knight’s delusion. Quixote was originally a man of sound mind, but becomes mad and believes everything he reads in books of chivalry to be true. A second volume was added ten years later, when Quixote has been thrust into the public eye and ridiculed, leading to many philosophical discussions on the natures of deception and delusion. The novel has been considered the first piece on modern literature because of the emphasis it adds on the characters and their development, especially in the second volume. Due to the historical significance, commentary on other novels, and philosophical discussion, Don Quixote should be taught in a high school curriculum.
Cervantes’ combination of laughter and jest is still alive and well, with the actor delivering a punch line, and the audience having their merriment queued by laugh tracks played over the speakers. The drollness of Don Quixote proves that humor hasn’t changed greatly, even though it may be several hundred years old and translated from its original language. Cervantes wrote the novel to be amusing, with some scholars commenting, “Cervantes’ Spanish vocabulary is simple, based on two words, risa and burla. Literally, Sancho’s “jaws were clenched and his mouth full of laughter” (risa)… In the succeeding passage,...


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...n where many may be able to recognize his image and know at least a little of his story. Because of its explanation and history of humor, discussion on philosophies of deception and of madness, breaking of class barriers, and historical and cultural significance, Don Quixote should be taught in a high school English curriculum to allow and encourage students to obtain a better working knowledge of classical literature, tradition, philosophy, and humor.


Works Cited

Rooks, Kristin. "Don Quixote." English. Discovery Communications, Inc.. Discovery.com, Betesda, MD. 14 Feb. 2012. Class lecture.
Paulson, Ronald. Don Quixote in England: the aesthetics of laughter. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998. Print.
Watt, Ian P.. Myths of modern individualism: Faust, Don Quixote, Don Juan, Robinson Crusoe. Cambridge [England: Cambridge University Press, 1996. Print.

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