I spent this summer attempting to finish Don Quixote. Don Quixote is an old classic written by Miguel De Cervantes. It follows the chivalry adventure of Don Quixote and his squire Sancho Panza. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It has such a wonderful story filled with memorable characters even though it is easy to get some of them mixed.
The two most memorable characters are Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Those two represent where the core of the story comes from. I especially love Don Quixote, the crazy, foolish, valiant, brave knight errant who rights all wrongs. He also is a tragicomic character and it was fun discovering why he is tragic and comic. He is comic due to his sense of humor, foolishness, and craziness, but he is tragic because he is delusional and in a sense some of his comic characteristics could easily be flaws. His adventures are much more fun in the second half of the book then the first half. In the second half, Don Quixote is treated the most as a knight and the adventures seem real. I know he is having adventures through delusions, but I still love him. In fact some of his adventures are shown through other characters playing tricks on him by pretending to be characters in the knight errant world.
As for Sancho Panza, he is the loyal squire of Don Quixote. Sancho Panza also has a sense of humor. He sometimes just doesn’t like being a squire due to his master’s madness. He went along with his adventures because Don Quixote promised him that he would be a governor of an island someday. But Sancho would soon realize that he would rather follow along with his master’s madness then being a governor.
The book has an underlying spirituality to it. It mentions God several times and is filled with several parables. The parables are invented by Sancho, which runs in his family. In a sense, I feel like Don Quixote sees Dulcinea as a kind of goddess, which connects to the spiritual aspect.
The plot is filled with many twists and turns. Cervantes is crazy at times. There are times when he interests short novels into the plot. A character would be reading the story and having those short novels in there kind of makes you get mixed up with reality in a sense. You begin to wonder what is really happening and what is going on in the short story. Sometimes a character would tell their life story, which in a sense can also feel like a short story. Cervantes even inserted a fake book of the second part of Don Quixote after someone wrote a sequel to it. Part of the true second part of the book has Don Quixote and Sancho showing the wrong done to the fake book. Cervantes even inserts himself into the book.
This book is quite a difficult one to write a review. It is essentially a tragicomedy, which is a genre I am hardly familiar with. I found this book so much harder to read then Les Misérables. I read Victor Hugo’s unabridged masterpiece last summer and finished it in a shorter amount of time then Don Quixote. The reason why Don Quixote took me longer was because I found it harder to grasp and understand due to the tragicomic nature of the book. I also found it easier to skip a day of reading. Even the language is harder to understand because Cervantes does write a lot in a kind of Shakespearean way. This book is truly a classic.
What is it about Don Quixote that makes it such a classic? I think it is a classic because I think everyone has a bit of Don Quixote in them. We all have a different perception of reality. We all can be quite crazy or foolish at times. This book also shows the importance of imagination.