Journey With the Ingenious Gentleman of La Mancha and his fearless followers at University of Mary Washington

The Death of a Hero

Don Quixote dedicated himself to chivalry, and he embarked on many adventures that he suffered consequences for. Don Quixote, to me, died as a hero. Although I don’t think Don Quixote should have ended like this, I understand that it was the best decision.

Miguel De Cervantes’ novel Don Quixote was about a crazy man that went on crazy adventures with crazy goals to achieve. Reading the book was just as insane as the story because it was very easy for the reader to become attached to Don Quixote. At the beginning of the novel, I completely hated Don Quixote; I thought he was crazy, and I thought the novel was just going to be a repeat of him getting into trouble and getting beat up. And as the book progressed, I still did not like him, and the novel surely was a repeat of him getting into a fight and being beat up. It wasn’t until the second volume, where Don Quixote had made evident changes, that I began to miss the old Don Quixote. The old man with such strong dreams was beginning to give up on his act.

After reading about Don Quixote’s death, I was really upset because Don Quixote dedicated his life to being a knight. He read chivalry books like they were the bible, he made himself a knight costume, he did everything a knight would have done. Upon further meditation on why Don Quixote might have had to die, it was obvious that he needed to die. For one, Don Quixote had already been copied once by some other guy that wasn’t Cervantes. Cervantes probably knew he was on his last breaths when he wrote the second volume of Don Quixote, and he probably did not want anyone to make another volume of Don Quixote. Because of this, Cervantes needed to end Don Quixote. Another reason why Don Quixote died was because he was tired. Don Quixote’s defeat in Barcelona was a complete defeat. He died in Barcelona. That is where his spirit died before he was struck with the fever that physically killed the man. This, in a sense, was a good thing. Being defeated was like a wake up call for him, and it basically brought him back to sanity. Because of this, Don Quixote was able to die as Alonso Quijano, the respected man he had been before being a knight.

Just like me, the other characters in the novel were sad that Don Quixote did not die as a knight, BUT he did basically die in battle like most knights. I enjoyed reading the novel after the second volume started up. I enjoyed this entire class on studying Don Quixote because I actually did not know/believe Don Quixote was a popular story until I told my mom about the class and she said she loved the story as a kid. The class was culturally enriching on Spain in the 1600’s, and it was quite an experience to go on this journey with Don Quixote. Don Quixote will be missed.

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