Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

**Student Review** by Chloe Hlas

Genre:  Historical Fiction

I think one of the main themes of this book was to poke fun at people who during the Renaissance, still believed in Middle Ages chivalry. The author basically murders the concept of knights displaying chivalry through Don Quixote’s hilariously ridiculous adventures. This book really helped me understand the Middle Ages mindset, and how the Renaissance evolved from it. Don Quixote’s incessant belief in all of the chivalrous concepts he’s read about in his old books brilliantly illustrates how people thought at the time, and how they themselves ridiculed anyone who had believed what they had once believed during the late Middle Ages, and on through the Renaissance.  This book was definitely worth reading to me, and significantly helped me in my studies of the late Middle Ages-Renaissance era. This book is designed to be humorous, yet informative at the same time to anyone learning about the mindset shift from late Middle Ages to Renaissance. It showed how people during the Renaissance time period reacted to fellow community members who believed in knights displaying a certain degree of chivalry.

This book was very useful to me, especially when studying the differences between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (particularly the state of mind). It was amusing to read about all of Don Quixote’s adventures as he set out to save others and conquer evil, all in the name of his beloved lady, Dulcinea del Toboso. He devotes all of his actions to her, fighting windmills and saving princesses kidnapped by monks all in her name. I hadn’t expected Sancho to lie to Don Quixote and say that an evil enchanter has transformed his love, Dulcinea, into a peasant girl, which practically drives Don Quixote crazy as he strives to change her back. Sancho had been Don Quixote’s right hand man the whole book, and always tried to keep him out of ridiculous situations, and it shocked me that he would do something like that, which he knew would affect Don Quixote so deeply. However, it was hilarious to read about what the Duke and Duchess tell him would undo the hoax of Dulcinea’s enchantment. This was definitely a good book, and I certainly recommend it to anyone who enjoys books that mock historic time periods. I would’ve read this book on my own time, outside of class.

 

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1 Response to “Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes”


  1. 1 David A. Bedford December 9, 2010 at 3:06 am

    I’m so glad people are reading Don Quixote. It was the very first modern novel. One further word. The people who surrounded Quixote are thoroughly modern, that is, they believe only in what they can see in front of their noses. They think Quixote is laughable and some play along with him. It turns out that Quixote is more ethical and coherent than any of them and those who get close to him are changed for the better.

    Cervantes knew the Middle Ages were dead and he appealed to people to keep the best from the past rather than throw it all overboard.

    Oh, and Cervantes says that his whole story is a translation from an Arabic original (which of course he made up). In the second part of Don Quixote, Sancho finds a university student who has read the first part. So there is a play of reality and fiction that leaves you dizzy.

    Thanks for the review!!!!

    Please visit my blog and leave a comment.


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