The Satiric Subject, Its Practices And Purposes In Miguel De Cervantes' Don Quixote

1007 words - 4 pages

High comedy is defined as a comedy that appeals to and reflects the life and problems of the upper social classes, characterized by a witty, sardonic treatment. In comparison to that is low comedy a comedy that gets its effect mainly from action and situation, as burlesque, farce, slapstick, and horseplay, rather than from a witty dialogue and characterization.The author Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) defines satire as: "A Poem in which wickedness or folly is censored". A satire should include entertainment, critical dimension, and a moral Reform. The novel can not be regarded as crude, slapstick humor (low comedy), but rather, as a warm, human tale, depicting the conflict between noble idealism and brute, unfeeling practicality. Don Quixote is a novel allegorizes high comedy, because it represents the life and the problems of an upper-class gentleman, in a funny and sardonic way. The novel is also a satire; entertainment, critic and a moral reform can be recognized by the readers.Don Quixote tells the story of the ordinary Spanish gentleman Alonso Quixano, who is addicted to books. He spends every moment engrossed in thick, meandering tomes filled with tales of knights and squires, magicians and giants, and beautiful ladies. He begins to sell parts of his estate in order to buy even more books. He lost his wits, and he decided to roam the country as a knight-errant named Don Quixote de la Mancha. Don Quixote lives in a world created in his imagination, which had been fueled by his obsession with chivalric tales. Instead of battles with evil knights, and rescuing virtuous maidens, he deals with windmills, bedclothes, and much disappointment. Along the way he acquires a sidekick, Sancho Panza, who supports Don Quixote in hopes of getting rich. Master and squire have numerous adventures, often causing more harm than good in spite of their noble intentions. They meet criminals sent to the galleys, and are victims of an elaborate prank by a pair of Dukes.Miguel de Cervantes wrote Don Quixote in two parts. Part I was published in 1605 and Part II was published in 1615. The combined works are a satire of the traditions of Spain at the time the novel was written. Don Quixote satirizes Spain's obsession with the noble knights as absurdly old-fashioned. On the one-hand Don Quixote accomplished nothing in his adventures, and on the other hand, he accomplished exactly, what the author intended. With the Story of Don Quixote, Cervantes wants to show the foolishness of the chivalric traditions of the middle ages in modern Spain. Sir Walter Raleigh, a professor of English Literature describes Cervantes work as part of the riots in Spain as "...his absolute honest and candor. He does not mince matters. His world behaves as the world may be expected to behave when its daily interests are violently disordered by a lunatic. Failure upon failure dogs the steps of poor Don Quixote, and he has no popularity to redeem his material disasters..." Cervantes...

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