Summarys on Don Quixote, Othello, Paradise Lost and Popol Vuh

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English 2332

Summarys on Don Quixote, Othello, Paradise Lost and Popol Vuh

Fools and tricksters are very closely related and are used simultaneously in poetry and other literary works. A fool can be described as one who is deficient in judgment, sense, or understanding and also can be someone who acts unwisely on a given occasion. A trickster is defined as someone that swindles or plays tricks. Often a trickster is a mischievous or roguish figure in myth or folklore.(Webster's Online Dictionary) Fools and trickster are used frequently in poetry and other literary works to portray distinct meanings for characters. In most instances, fools and tricksters derive from evil protagonists. In the following literary works, every attempt will be made to identify the fool, the trickster and the evil characters in each selection and describe why the characters in each are befitting of their respective designation. Miguel De Cervantes Don Quixote is a fool in many respects. His speech is ridiculous, his ideas are hopelessly out of date, and he has lost touch with reality. Yet readers admire him and know immediately he is the hero of the story. All the things which make him a fool, however unbelievable as it may be, add to his heroic appearance and lets the reader know where Quixote is coming from. Along with this, his foolish nature adds a sense of artlessness and purity, very heroic aspects. Is Don Quixote really a fool or is he so innately wise to know that pretending to be a fool is advantageous? The story of Don Quixote is filled with legendary actions. Alonso Quijano, as he is first known, is a man who lives in the village of La Mancha, in Spain. This gentleman was “close on to fifty, of a robust constitution but with little flesh on his bones and a face that was lean and gaunt.”(Lowall and Mack) He was a man of modest means who resided with his housekeeper who was a middle aged woman, a niece who was twenty, and a man who saddled his horse and performed odd jobs around his place. Quijano loved to hunt but he was “in the habit of reading books of chivalry with such pleasure and devotion as to lead him to almost wholly to forget the life of a hunter and even the administration of his estate.”(Lowall and Mack) He became so infatuated with the books that he read that he “spent whole nights from sundown to sunup and his days from dawn to dusk in poring over his books, until, finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”(Lowall and Mack) He was so immersed in his books that he came to believe that the fictitious things in the novels were real. He set out on a series of ventures, the first being to become a “knight-errant and roam the world on horseback, in a suite of armor.”(Lowall and Mack) He put together an ill-fitted coat of armor and hit the road with an old nag who he named Rosinante. He was dubbed a knight named Don Quixote de La Mancha by an innkeeper who realized he was out of his mind and performed the fictitious ceremony just to get rid of him. The newly knighted Don Quixote sets out on a series of outrageous adventures too numerous to list. He is captured and slips away various times to return to his adventures and finally ends up half dead, stripped and “stretched out on his old-time bed”. His niece and housekeeper “scarcely knew what to do, for they were very much afraid that their master and uncle would give them the slip once more, the moment he was a little better, and it turned out just the way they feared it might.”(Lowall and Mack) Such is the life of a wise fool. In Shakespeare's, Othello, the reader is presented with the classic battle between the deceitful forces of evil and the innocence of good. It is these forces of evil that ultimately lead to the breakdown of Othello, a Venetian General, well known by the people of Venice as an honorable soldier and a worthy leader. In spite...
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