Don Quixote Essay

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Sue Kim
29 October 2012
Honors Literature
Don Quixote Essay
“With these word and phrases the poor gentleman lost his mind,” (Cervantes 20). In the beginning of Don Quixote, the reader is introduced to a man engulfed in chivalric books, who soon loses his mind in the stories of knighthood. Don Quixote is labeled as an insane man by the narrator who soon proves this statement through Don Quixote’s delusions and eccentric behaviors. As the narrator describes the delusions, the narrator’s tone is overly mocking towards Don Quixote’s delusional acts. However, ignoring the narrator’s mocking tone, Don Quixote’s foolish acts can be judged reasonable by comparing Don Quixote’s delusions to the actual situation. In Cervantes’ Don Quixote, Don Quixote is portrayed as a delusional person with a tendency of expressing eccentric behaviors; however, Don Quixote’s delusions can be judged reasonable if the audience looks at the acts of Don Quixote as a childish and immature approach to regarding things in life. There are three types of delusions and eccentric behaviors shown by Don Quixote that can be seen as reasonable: delusions and eccentric behaviors connected with concrete objects, coincidental situations, and in situations where Don Quixote admits his madness and tries to explain his own supposed madness.

The most commonly mentioned scene of Don Quixote is when Don Quixote has delusions about windmills being giants. Delusions and eccentric behaviors connected with concrete objects happen as Don Quixote sees some concrete objects as slightly different objects. This pattern is seen when Don Quixote interprets windmills as giants. “thirty or forty of the windmills […] thirty or more enormous giants” (Cervantes 58). The audience may perceive Don Quixote as insane because he confuses two similar objects. The massive windmills’ blades are similar to the massive giants’ arms and the trunk of the windmill is similar to a giants’ body. Don Quixote’s childish actions are...
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