PDA

View Full Version : Don Quijote - Mad or Misunderstood?



hfxScheib2
04-09-2010, 04:04 PM
It seems to be the ongoing debate within the world of Spanish liturature: is Miguel Cervantes' Don Quijote crazy or sane? He is certainly an ambivalent character, and manages to keep the reader guessing with every action that makes one go, "huh?!" Yet, for every action that suggests Don Quijote's lunacy, he also has his moments of philosophical genius. For example, I just read Chapter 11, where Don Quijote is spending time with a group of simple goatherds. During the course of their dinner, Don Quijote makes a long speech deliberating the good will of men. He referred to times far gone, when people and things did good for the sake of doing good and asked for no payment or reward in return. He was also extremely grateful and, I think, impressed at how the goatherds had only met him briefly and yet did not hesitate to invite him to share their meal.

That chapter is only one of what I am sure is many instances where Don Quijote shows a philosophical side that leagues of people lack today. I am not sure that I can prove his complete sanity and mental health, however, I do not believe he is one-hundred percent crazy.

MarioRiosPinot
06-09-2010, 04:19 PM
The narrator says he is cracked from reading some of the chivalry crap.

Characters in the novel pretty much all agree that he is mad.

An example might be his vow to free prisoners period. Not innocent prisoners only but the those found to be guilty also.

And of course seeing giants for windmills.

That the madness has not wiped him clean of his fantastic reading ideas is not hard to believe...its more his ability to tell the difference between real and unreal.

Arrowni
06-15-2011, 04:25 PM
Quijote is bonkers. Unless you admit that the definition of being crazy is loose enough to allow certain nutcracks to remain in the realm of "sane", I'd say Quijote is absolutely and profusely crazy. The thing is, you should actually ask yourself if the things he does or says are any less valid because he represents such as oppressed minority, you can almost wonder if he should be oppressed despite the fact he's a constant danger to people around him.

Quijote being crazy doesn't deter his character, quite the opposite it allows an important amount of greatness come afloat which would not find it's place in society without that mishappen. You can also check el licenciado Vidriera, a short novel of Cervantes with another character who gains clarity through insanity.

Could the Don not be crazy from time to time? Sure, but also, many of the sane characters act crazy at some point and we don't seem to make a big deal about that.

raytanz
01-23-2012, 08:15 AM
I do not think Don Quixote's crazy.
He is no more (or less) crazy than most of us.
He has a philosophical bent and tends to be idealistic, but he is what most of us so-called 'normal' men and women would love to be.
Perhaps Don Quixote should be viewed against Sigmund Freud's masterpiece on the psychopathology of everyday life.
Speaking for myself, I'd say, "May there be more men like Don Quixote. It's men like him that make the world a better place to live in."

cafolini
01-23-2012, 09:49 AM
It seems to be the ongoing debate within the world of Spanish liturature: is Miguel Cervantes' Don Quijote crazy or sane? He is certainly an ambivalent character, and manages to keep the reader guessing with every action that makes one go, "huh?!" Yet, for every action that suggests Don Quijote's lunacy, he also has his moments of philosophical genius. For example, I just read Chapter 11, where Don Quijote is spending time with a group of simple goatherds. During the course of their dinner, Don Quijote makes a long speech deliberating the good will of men. He referred to times far gone, when people and things did good for the sake of doing good and asked for no payment or reward in return. He was also extremely grateful and, I think, impressed at how the goatherds had only met him briefly and yet did not hesitate to invite him to share their meal.

That chapter is only one of what I am sure is many instances where Don Quijote shows a philosophical side that leagues of people lack today. I am not sure that I can prove his complete sanity and mental health, however, I do not believe he is one-hundred percent crazy.

Of course those moralistic displays link the Quixote with some universality. For the most part, he was absolutely insane. But Cervantes managed to produce a satire that compared him to the rest of society, which was worse. He wrote strictly from inside a library and managed to maintain all allegations up in the air of La Mancha. There is no way to know the place of birth or birthday of Don Quixote.