The Dangers of Reading Poetry in Cervantes’ Don Quixote Essay

The Greek thinker Plato relates to poets and poetry as unsafe for the young. This is because they can stir emotions that young people are unable to manage. Offered their highly impressionable nature, the youth are undoubtedly prone to brainwashing and false information. A poet that glorifies war in his works, for example, can encourage many boys to go to battle even if they do not know what they are fighting for.

A poem that glamorizes the death of a spurned lover by his own hand, meanwhile, can trigger youths to view suicide as the only way to deal with a damaged heart.

Miguel de Cervantes’ The Innovative Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha (1605 and 1615) appears to share Plato’s previously mentioned beliefs on poets and poetry. The book’s lead character, Alonso Quixano, was a retired country gentleman who was so obsessed with the reading of impressive poetry. (1) Alonso’s fixation with this literary category came to the point that he in fact decides to end up being a knight-errant himself.

( 2) He polishes some old armor, assumes the name Don Quixote de la Mancha, relabels his old horse Rocinante, designates his neighbor Sancho Panza to be his squire and picks a regional peasant female named Aldonza Lorenzo to be his lady love, rechristening her as Dulcinea del Toboso. Don Quixote’s efforts to turn wonderful accounts of chivalry into reality ultimately results in trouble for both him and the people around him. (3) Plato elaborated in his work The Republic (380 BC) his factor for thinking that poets and poetry are useless, if not hazardous.

For him, poetry “corrupts the soul”– it forces people to think in an imaginary interpretation of reality. (4) Poets simply copy circumstances of human quality. As an outcome, their works show only a look of excellence. Offered the fictitious nature of their poems, poets can make varied and contradictory characters appear outstanding. (5) Genuine human quality, in sharp contrast, is based on the stability and the harmony of the soul. In addition, the real life considers people who are different and contradictory in character as vicious.

( 6) Plato for that reason thinks that passionate followers of poets and poetry are setting themselves up for disillusion. Poets are presenting their audiences a world that is quite different from the one that they are living in. In the process, they are convincing them to live according to a set of requirements that are not suitable with truth. Cervantes most likely had the very same arguments in mind when he was composing Don Quixote. If examined carefully, Don Quixote is a satire on the medieval model of chivalry.

( 7) The medieval concept of chivalry is often associated with a paradise that is ruled by brave knights, stunning and modest ladies and sensible and pious religious individuals. The knight is typically represented as a hero who solitarily beats the most harmful of enemies. His ladylove is regularly illustrated as the embodiment of virtue. Spiritual individuals, on the other hand, are revealed as proficient and dedicated leaders who steer entire towns through the worst crises. But as Cervantes shows in Don Quixote, belief in such a fantastic world is a mark of stupidity.

The aforementioned utopia is defined with conditions that greatly contrast those of the real life. Thus, its beliefs, standards and worths also oppose those of the real world. To anticipate utopian beliefs, standards and worths to work in the real world would definitely cause other kinds of misdeed. Chapter 1 reveals Alonso’s way of life prior to he assumed the identity of Don Quixote: (He was a) gentleman that keep a lance in the lance-rack, an old buckler, a lean hack, and a greyhound for gushing.

An olla of rather more beef than mutton, a salad on the majority of nights, scraps on Saturdays, lentils on Fridays, and a pigeon approximately extra on Sundays, made away with three-quarters of his income. The rest of it entered a doublet of great fabric and velour breeches and shoes to match for vacations, while on week-days he made a brave figure in his homespun. He had in his home a maid past forty, a niece under twenty, and a lad for the field and the market-place, who used to saddle the hack as well as manage the bill-hook. (40 )

This description shows that regardless of Alonso’s status as a hidalgo (a member of the lower nobility), he was barely making ends fulfill. While he might have improved his economic situation by working, his social status hindered him from doing so. During Alonso’s time, it was thought about outrageous for a member of the nobility to work. Must a nobleman or woman work, it was assumed that it was because his or her family had actually fallen into hard times. Alonso therefore decided to live under an illusion of wealth and respectability rather than get his hands unclean earning a good living.

However when the plain truth of his impoverished state became all too apparent, he withdrew into his collection of legendary poems. Whenever he was at leisure (which was primarily all the all year), (he) offered himself as much as reading books of chivalry with such (ardor) and avidity that he practically totally overlooked the pursuit of his field-sports, and even the management of his residential or commercial property; and to such a pitch did his eagerness and infatuation go that he offered numerous an acre of tillageland to purchase books of chivalry to check out, and brought home as much of them as he might get.

But of all there were none he liked so well as those of the well-known Feliciano de Silva’s structure, for their lucidity of style and complicated conceits were as pearls in his sight, especially when in his reading he came upon courtships and cartels, where he typically discovered passages like “the factor of the unreason with which my factor is afflicted so compromises my reason that with factor I murmur at your appeal;” or once again, “the high paradises, that of your divinity divinely strengthen you with the starts, render you deserving of the desert your success should have.

” (40-41) Certainly, the wonderful nature of impressive poems renders these effective leaves from the severe truths of daily presence. In legendary poems the most significant problems are quickly solved with prayer, modesty and large bravado. Furthermore, the heroes in many impressive poems are nobles– wealthy individuals who never worked a day in their lives. Thus, Alonso declined to work. The epic poems that he checked out instilled in him sloth and fatalism. Instead of working hard to enhance his lot, Alonso preferred to check out legendary poems and depend on fate to alter his life.

Instantly after turning himself into a knight-errant, Alonso triggered looking for adventures as Don Quixote. After an entire day of traveling, he spent the night at an inn, which he considered as a castle. He likewise asked for the innkeeper, whom he thought to be the lord of the “castle,” to bestow knighthood on him. The innkeeper, out of charity and his own boyhood dreams of ending up being a knight, accompanied Don Quixote’s caprices. (8 )

However the innkeeper regretted his choices right now, as Don Quixote’s delusions of magnificence caused trouble in his inn: (Don Quixote) often paced up and down, or in some cases, leaning on his lance, looked on his armor without taking his eyes off it for ever so long … as the night closed in … among the carriers who remained in the inn thought fit to water his team, and it was required to eliminate Don Quixote’s armor as it lay on the trough …(He seized) it by the straps (and) flung the armor some distance from him.

Seeing this, Don Quixote raised his eyes to heaven …(and) raised his lance with both hands and with it smote such a blow on the provider’s head that he stretched him on the ground, so stunned that had he followed it up with a 2nd there would have been no need of a surgeon to cure him. This done, he picked up his armor and returned to his beat with the same tranquility as previously.

Quickly after this, another, not understanding what had actually occurred … included the exact same object of providing water to his mules, and was proceeding to get rid of the armor in order to clear the trough … Don Quixote … again dropped his buckler and once again raised his lance, and without actually breaking the second provider’s head into pieces, made more than 3 of it, for he laid it open in 4. (48) The innkeeper, afraid that Don Quixote’s eccentricities would frighten his other guests away, right away conferred upon him the order of knighthood and sent him on his method.

As the story advanced, it ended up being increasingly apparent that his delusions of knighthood were bringing him absolutely nothing but problem. Shortly after leaving the inn, Don Quixote got into a fight with traders with Toledo because they “insulted” Dulcinea. (9) He similarly freed a young boy who was connected to a tree by his master supposedly since the boy had the courage to ask from his master his back incomes. However the truth was that the young boy was being punished by his master because he was such a reckless servant that he kept losing the sheep that his master bought him to care for.

( 10) A neighboring peasant, Pedro Crespo, later on puts an end to Don Quixote’s caprices by bringing him house. (11) At Don Quixote’s house, his niece, the house cleaner, the parish curate and the local barber attempted to rid him of his deceptions by burning the majority of his books on legendary poetry and sealing the door to his library. When Don Quixote asked where his library was, his niece responded that a magician took it. (12) After 15 days of remaining at house, Don Quixote felt the desire to measure up to his deceptions again.

Together with his “squire,” Sancho Panza, he starts brand-new experiences. Their very first experience together was an attack on windmills that Don Quixote pictured to be as relentless giants. (13) At this point, it is really apparent that Don Quixote is so desperate to end up being a knight that he will not reconsider damaging public property just to be able to prove that he is one. But as their journeys advanced, Don Quixote is lastly encouraged to desert his dreams of becoming a knight.

His incorrect belief that he is a knight instilled in him the belief that he can get away with breaking the law and norms that govern appropriate behavior. As an outcome, he does not pay his debts and strongly intrudes in problems which do not concern him. Such an incorrect sense of privilege often gets him– and most particularly Sancho– into trouble with practically everybody they satisfy. Seeing the futility of his ambition, Don Quixote finally goes back house to his village. Plato strongly opposed poets and poetry because of their capability to deceive audiences.

Poets have the capability to use fictionalized accounts of human presence in order to stir the feelings of readers. When people are emotional, they are most likely to make choices that are ill-advised or risky. What makes this result extremely awful is that their actions are based upon fiction rather of on truth. Cervantes’ The Innovative Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha affirmed the previously mentioned argument of Plato by demonstrating how a blind faith in chivalry became damaging to the lives of Alonso Quixano and the people around him.

Instead of striving to improve his lot, Alonso presumed that dream would fix all his issues for him. In the end, it caused him more dilemmas instead. The source of these issues is an incorrect sense of privilege. Because Don Quixote presumed that he was much like the lead characters of the epic poems that he enjoyed to read, he felt that he was a messiah who might do no incorrect. He believed that he can get away with offenses such as destroying public home, battling with other people for no excellent factor and not paying his debts.

However reality showed him otherwise– impressive poems, after all, are just misconceptions. Endnotes 1. Howard Mancing, Cervantes’ Don Quixote: A Referral Guide (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006), 23. 2. Ibid. 3. Ibid. 4. Giovanni R. F. Ferrari, The Cambridge Buddy to Plato’s Republic (New York, New York City: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 429. 5. Ibid., 430. 6. Ibid. 7. Barbara Fuchs, Romance (New York, New York City: Routledge, 2004), 78. 8. Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (New York City, New York City: Fine Creative Media, Inc., 2004), 47. 9. Ibid., 49. 10. Ibid., 51. 11. Ibid., 56 12. Ibid., 62. 13. Ibid., 64. Functions Cited Cervantes, Miguel de. Don Quixote. New York, New York: Fine Creative Media, Inc., 2004. Print. Ferrari, Giovanni R. F. The Cambridge Companion to Plato’s Republic. New York City, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007. Print. Fuchs, Barbara. Romance. New York, New York: Routledge, 2004. Print. Mancing, Howard. Cervantes’ Don Quixote: A Referral Guide. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006. Print.

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