April 16, 2013
The comedy in Chivalry
The historical adulteration of chivalry in Don Quixote by Cervantes ties in to its literary parody. Don Quixote parodies the anticipation of chivalric affection: lone knights had lost their military essence. The dominant classes still served the ideology of chivalry. The loss chivalry can be tied into the War of the Alpujarras. The knights, the caballeros de cuantia, were obligated to keep their horse and armor ready for serving the king, but slowly and shamefully they were unprepared. The knight’s individual language of knightly service represents the parody realism of chivalry as foolish as Don Quixote could fantasize about. Also, The knight’s materialistic behavior and desire of self-interest represented the character Sancho Panza. Don Quixote has read about chivalric romance and he tried to imitate the knights-errant. This is comical, because he had such a since of mission. These knights that he was trying to imitate were so far from being chivalric, yet he thought otherwise. The armor that the knights used to wear was for military purposes, but while going on his missions through La Mancha, he made sure to have his armor on. This was strange to the La Mancha town’s people, because wearing armor did not necessarily mean that knight was chivalric. Chivalry was long dead, and people only knew of it through books; it was not a practice they were used to. Don Quixote attempted to bring back this practice, and this draws attention to the interlude between social hierarchy and the principles that it sustained. This story of Don Quixote is a burlesque epic of the chivalry romance. Cervantes tried to teach the readers the sincerity by creating a ridiculous comedy my mocking and ridiculing the time period. Cervantes first shows how the protagonist’s noble knightly manner is old fashioned. The comedy is easy to understand, because the dynamics of the story are simple. Don Quixote tries to act out what he has read...
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