Stefan Wolfe

Don Quixote And New Heroic Qualities

               In part 2 of Don Quixote, we discussed the Quixote is experiencing a different persona almost, and instead of foolish qualities, he now possesses more heroic qualities. In the first part, Quixote would make up excuses such as “he was enchanted” or something along those lines. However, in the second part, Quixote is beginning to use less and less of these excuses and begins to show a different side of his personality. When the lions were released, Quixote’s response was very calm and he didn’t show any fear. Although Quixote has done things where he doesn’t show fear before this, I believe Cervantes used this scene to show his audience that he is doing these things while he is halfway sane now. In the first part of the Book, Cervantes showed Quixote doing things such as attacking windmills and running up on people and randomly attacking them, this is justified because the reader knows that Quixote is insane. In the lion scene, though, Cervantes provides the background information of Quixote having a civil conversation with the priest and the barber before giving the reader another circumstance in which he acts “Crazy”. But given this context, I believe Quixote is behaving this way not because he is insane, but because he is beginning to become somewhat sane and heroic. Another reason Quixote is beginning to become more sane and aware, is because he asks Sancho what the townspeople thought of him, and if they thought he was crazy or not. To me, this has a great significance because previously Quixote would have never cared what others thought of him. I believe this is a direct representation of being sane and insane because insane people are not aware of anything that is going on around them whereas sane people have a great understanding of what is going on around them. This also correlates with Cervantes writing style because with Don Quixote being a parody of Chivalric works, Chivalric characters are uniformly static for the most part while Quixote is beginning to experience some serious changes between the first part of the series to the second. Although mostly Quixote shows heroic qualities, he also still has some non-heroic qualities as well. A true hero is selfless and puts others before him/herself. Quixote does not do this; especially for his sidekick Sancho. Sancho is mistreated very often by Quixote- whether it be blanketing or leaving feasts early just because he doesn’t want food even though Sancho has been looking forward to all of the delicious food. So overall Quixote is a changed character, but also possesses some of his old selfish qualities as well.