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Don Quixote by Cervantes


Medieval Chivalry & Pastoral The literature that had expressed the medieval spirit of chivalry and romance had degenerated by Cervantes time. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Don Quixote by Cervantes

Don Quixote by Cervantes
Don Quixote
  • Author Miguel de Cervantes
  • Culture Spanish
  • Date early 17th c.
  • Genre satirical novel
  • Names/terms to know Don Quixote, Sancho Panza,
    Dulcinea, Sansón Carrasco, Marcela, Grisóstomo,
    chivalry pastoralism

Cervantes Background
  • Son of a poor doctor, did not have a humanist
  • Cervantes adventurous life
  • Fought in religious wars
  • Captured by pirates
  • Spent 5 years as a slave
  • Held government jobs.
  • 1604 Don Quixote Part 1 published
  • 1615 published DQ II.

Don Quixote
  • Cervantes combines several genres into one.
  • His initial purpose to satirize the romances of
    chivalry, to create a parody of a literary type
    characterized by supernatural deeds of valor,
    implausible complicated adventures, duels, and
  • The novel was popular immediately.

Medieval Chivalry Pastoral
  • The literature that had expressed the medieval
    spirit of chivalry and romance had degenerated by
    Cervantes time.
  • His method of showing the inherent silliness of
    chivalric romances to show what extraordinary
    consequences they would lead a man insanely
    infatuated with them, once this man set out to
    live now according to their patterns of action
    and belief.
  • In addition to chivalric romances, Cervantes
    parodies the pastoral novel, with the section
    about Marcela, the shepherdess who is unmoved by
    her shepherd admirers.

Don Quixotes Mask
  • Our hero, Don Quixote, dons the mask of a
    chivalric knight to make his life more
    interesting and bearable.
  • We can see the influence of Greek comedy on this
    novel a crazy idea is proposed, and the rest of
    the work concerns its working out in the real
  • The humor lies in the contrast between Don
    Quixotes ideals and the real world around him.
  • French Jesuit Francois de la Noue - Warned
    against the dangerous influence of chivalric
    books on the young - claimed they were as harmful
    to the young as Machiavelli was to the old.
    Think also Socrates

  • Don Quixote is not a knight but an impoverished
    country landowner.
  • His ideals love as service, adventurousness,
    loyalty to valor and generosity. Tries to seek
    out wrongs and right them, to help those in need,
    to be full of valor in honor of his Lady (courtly
  • Like Greek heroes, he wants his great deeds to be
  • Don Quixote a wandering hero
  • His insanity caused by reading too many books
    about chivalry (literature corrupts)

First Nine Chapters
  • Some scholars think these chapters represent the
    kernel of a story originally meant to be just a
  • The story breaks off soon after DQ has taken off
    again with Sancho Panza as his squire, fresh from
    their windmill encounter.