In Don Quixote, honor is a peculiar thing. Don Quixote himself has honor, as seen on countless occasions and is all caused by his belief in the Chivalric code. Some other characters in the book have a rigid honor system while others look at honor, mainly personal honor, and scoff. Honor can either lead to disastrous or beneficial results.
Anselmo, a man that is wondering about how far is his wife’s faith and honor, sets his friend up to swoon his wife. The problem being is that the friend and wife eventually fall in love. This leads to the wife’s death. This is an example of a disastrous result, that is all based around honor. The mistrust of the wife’s honor by Anselmo, is what leads to both of their demises. Don Quixote’s honor also leads him and Sancho into many peculiar situations. An quote from Don Quixote “For neither good nor evil can last forever; and so it follows that as evil has lasted a long time, good must now be close at hand.” Don Quixote is applying his code of honor that if he keeps going good things then good things will happen to the world and it will take over evil. Most if not all of Don Quixote’s exploits are caused due to his code of honor. Many of these lead him to face people or get into situations that otherwise he has no reason to get involved.
Honor can also lead to beneficial situations. Throughout Don Quixote, there are many times where honor has led people to happy endings. Dulcinea’s sense of personal honor leads her to Ferdinand, which ends happily.
What makes the difference
The difference in beneficial and disastrous endings is how honor is applied in Don Quixote. If the event involves personal honor, then it usually ends happily, as seen with Dulcinea, however, if honor is trying to be applied to others, then it ends poorly.