Men in Don Quixote are entitled and just as insane as Don Quixote. Not every man we’ve met throughout the first part – some are good guys like Cardenio. Most of the love stories in the novel, though, have to do with both delusional men and women. We have for example, Don Quixote, Ferdinand, and Chrysostom.
Don Quixote is a smart man. While Don Quixote was arguing Chivalry being more important than scholarship, Don Quixote spoke so intelligently that everyone at the table forgot to eat. They thought he was “a man of apparently sound sense, and with rational views on every subject he discussed”(Cervantes, 38). So, Don Quixote is smart and knows everything he has to know about a subject, but Don Quixote is also a nut because of his love for Dulcinea. She’s non-existent, yet Don Quixote would lay down his life for her. Even if she was real, he wouldn’t know her, he’d be walking around claiming her as his. Honestly, she probably wouldn’t even give him the time of day.
Ferdinand faced a similar situation. Ferdinand was attractive and he must’ve been educated as well since he was in a higher social class than Luscinda. He wanted her attention very badly, but she wanted nothing to do with him. Of course, that made Ferdinand want to take a bite out of the forbidden fruit. The reason he got to sleep with her was because she was afraid he’d forcefully take her virginity. He promised her marriage and of course he didn’t keep his promise. Rather than marry the good girl he had back at home, Ferdinand went out and married Dorotea. Without knowing the actual story, Don Quixote thought this was wrong. Luscinda’s story about the giant stealing her kingdom was really her own love story with Ferdinand, and Don Quixote was on his way to kill that giant for the wrong he had done. Dorotea didn’t even want to marry Ferdinand because she was in love and belonged to someone else, but she was forced to by her parents. This is like any normal, old love story, but what amazes me is that Ferdinand had the nerve to actually act surprised and angry about Dorotea being in love with someone else. In what kind of mind did he think Dorotea was going to be content about a forced marriage? He was so angry that he planned on killing her! I think this is a good example of entitlement in Don Quixote. Ferdinand taking a girls virginity (almost forcefully), running away to marry another girl (by force on her part), and then being upset that she doesn’t want to be with him.
An even better example of entitlement and delusion in Don Quixote, though, is Chrysostom’s tragic, love story. Chrysostom was in love with a very beautiful woman named Marcella, and many other men were in love with her as well. Marcella did not love any of them, Chrysostom included. Poor Chrysostom’s entitled, disillusioned heart just couldn’t handle the rejection and gave out. When Don Quixote was hearing the story, she was described as being at fault for this. Even Don Quixote understood that it was not her fault. He said “she has shown by clear and satisfactory arguments that little or no fault is to be found with her for the death of Chrysostom, and also how far she is from yielding to the wishes of any of her lovers […] instead of being followed and persecuted, she should in justice be honoured and esteemed by all the good people of the world”(Cervantes, 14). Don Quixote here proved to be in a better state of mind than any of the characters blaming Marcella for Chrisostom’s death. I think Chrisostom had no right to die over this because she never led him on or made him think he had a chance. No one in the novel had the right to be upset at her for not loving Chrisostom back either. Chrisostom dying over her rejection was entitlement at its finest because he couldn’t handle a simple ‘no’. It was his way or the highway, and unfortunately, he ended up on the highway.
With examples like Ferdinand and Chrisostom, Cervantes makes Don Quixote look like a good guy. I found both of these examples to be humorous because both of these men had some real nerve to act heart broken and angry about something that was not theirs in the first place. Don Quixote believed that these men were in the wrong, and he expressed it. Of course, Cervantes thought these men were entitled, as he expressed through Don Quixote, but was he trying to speak out against the men living in his time? Maybe Cervantes wanted to raise awareness about a woman’s right to choose or give a message about relationships like these to entitled and crazy men in his time.