Don Quixote is a hoax of knights and chivalry. Anyone who has seen or heard of the Ingenious Gentleman knows that he is not a true knight; he has many different personalities and names, but a true knight? No, but a true heart he has. But what happens when the king of the imaginative, crazy, middle life crisis pseudo-knight sees his own doppelganger? Well, if their something that looks like an enchanter or anything resembling knighthood, he’s coming out with his lance.
Like Don Quixote, this phony of a phony has many names. The knight of the woods is what he calls himself, later the knight of the mirrors and eventually the man called Bachelor Sanson Carrasco, a man only heard about in the beginning of the second volume. Does he envy Don Quixote? Is this one of Cervantes ways of humor? First, let’s look at Sanson himself.
With the title of Bachelor, Sanson is a smarty pants when it comes to philosophy and deep thinking. In a few years, he might have a white collar job and not have to run a mom and pop business. Don Quixote himself finds Sanson very intriguing and more humor goes to the book when Don Quixote ask Sanson “So then, is it true that my history exists and that it was composed by a wise moor?” (Grossman, vol 2, ch 3) to which Sanson replies “It is true, Senor, that I believe there are more than twelve thousand copies of this history in print today”. Th humor is shown by copyrights and popularity of Cervantes’s own first volume, but the important thing is that Sanson is educated. Throughout the whole conversation Sanson is able to answer all of Quixote’s questions when questions were hard to answer by others.
This may seem so contradictory: Sanson is a upper class, wise guy, and he’s trying to look like Don Quixote? Don Quixote, a man of big mind, small brain; lot of vision, and simultaneously no vision. Perhaps Carrasco is as insane as Don Quixote, because this silly conversation occurred. Before any battling with Don Quixote and the Knight of the Woods, the Knight says this “I fought with Don Quixote and I conquered him and defeated him…” (Grossman, vol 2 ch 14). Sanson has already seen Don Quixote and Sancho in chapter three and he looks at Don Quixote after dismissing Sancho, and tell him that he defeated Don Quixote.
Here’s what I think Cervantes is doing. Sanson is a mirror of Don Quixote. He is literally called the Knight of the Mirrors. Sanson, while being a bachelor with a great future, is no less smart than the madman himself. I believe Cervantes is trying to tell us that Don Quixote isn’t the only insane person and maybe everyone is insane, just in their own way. Sancho can’t seem to get any saying correct, the innkeeper can never catch Don Quixote, and Fernando, Dorotea, Cardenio, and Lucinda can’t seem to do anything right. Everyone has a level of insanity, most of the time they hide it well; the insane people are the ones that can’t.
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